The demolition of the original Brisbane Transit Centre in central Brisbane has moved ahead with the first of three buildings taken apart level by level.
The 18-storey Hotel Jen building along with the main transit centre building will now make way for the new 18,000 seat Brisbane Live entertainment precinct and Roma Street station—set to be the jewel in the state government's $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project.
The Transit Centre on Roma Street, built at a cost of $48 million in 1986, last year welcomed an average of 19,000 people daily.
Cross River Rail minister Kate Jones said the demolition, one of Brisbane’s largest ever, was being undertaken by a subcontractor starting at the top and work down.
“Nothing says progress on a construction site like an 85-metre crane at work on a building completely engulfed in scaffolding,” Jones said.
“Floor by floor starting from the top and working their way down, the demolition crews have started to dismantle Hotel Jen with the East and West Towers of the Brisbane Transit Centre expected to start in March.”
Demolition is expected to be completed by late 2020. After that, the site will be prepared, and piling and station box excavation will be completed in the second half of 2021.
The demolition at Roma Street follows similar works being undertaken at Albert Street while work at the Exhibition Station in Bowen Hills is expected to commence in April.
Upgrade work was also set to begin at six stations from Salisbury to Fairfield in Brisbane's inner south, as well as construction on three new Gold Coast stations at Pimpama, Helensvale North and Merrimac.
The first part of tunnelling on the project, from Woolloongabba towards Boggo Road, is scheduled for August.
The Pulse consortium will deliver the tunnel, stations and development—a partnership led by CIMIC Group companies, Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, and UGL with international partners DIF, BAM and Ghella.
Unity Alliance will deliver the rail, integration and systems bringing together CPB Contractors, UGL, AECOM and Jacobs, and partners Hassell, RCS Australia, Acmena, Martinus Rail and Wired Overhead Solutions.
The Cross River Rail is expected to be up and running by 2024 while Brisbane Live, which is still shrouded in uncertainty, if given the go-ahead is expected to be complete by 2024, and could form part of Queensland’s efforts to bid for the 2032 Olympic Games.
“We expect that with Cross River Rail in place, an extra 47,000 people will choose rail instead of road by 2036,” Jones said.