The first part in the second stage of Canberra’s light rail network, from Civic to Woden, has been given the green light from the Federal Government.

Environmental approval has been granted for construction to begin on its extension from Alinga Street in the City to Commonwealth Park.

The approval also includes works to raise the southern end of London Circuit so it sits on the same level as Commonwealth Avenue.

Transport Minister, Chris Steel said the government will now look to begin the procurement process for the project as remaining approvals remain yet to be signed off on.

“Whilst Federal EPBC approvals have been obtained for Stage 2A including Raising London Circuit, further planning approvals are required for the project from the National Capital Authority and the ACT Planning and Land Authority.”

“The EPBC approval process is also currently underway for the Stage 2B extension from Commonwealth Park to Woden and is expected to take up to 18 months.” Mr Steel added.

However, the Transport Minister admitted the extension of light rail and raising of London Circuit will cause major disruptions to the city centre.

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“But it’s going to generate very long-term benefits, wider economic benefits and benefits for public transport as our city grows.”

It’s hoped construction will begin as early as this year with the completed build likely to be finished within two years.