In contrast to a typical concrete track form, CPB Contractors’ Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 project identified a more sustainable alternative could be delivered.
New to the state and the longest in Australia, the project introduced a ‘green track’ which features grass and vegetation between and along 930m of the rail tracks, reducing concrete by 81% compared to a standard concrete embedded track form.
Compared to a concrete-embedded track form, the green track absorbs heat reducing the air temperature in the area, minimises noise and glare, filters stormwater, reduces flooding and encourages biodiversity.
The grass species chosen for planting in the green track was selected through a 12-month study and trials that compared grasses to the rate of growth, climate suitability, growth height and species' lifespan, amongst other characteristics.
Following the study, ‘Nara’ Zoysia, a native species to Australia, was selected due to its hardy, drought-tolerant features and slow growth rate, making it easier to maintain and ideal for the Parramatta area.
A drip irrigation sprinkler system using recycled water with soil moisture sensors will ensure the grass and groundcover along the track is kept hydrated.
CPB Contractors Group Manager Sustainability, David Fox said, “This initiative demonstrates how a collaborative approach and commitment to sustainable delivery between contractors and clients can achieve positive legacies for the community and environment that extend many years beyond project completion”.
Located in Western Sydney, the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia with a 12-kilometre, two-way track.