Grisly find to delay $1.8b project
CONSTRUCTION workers chipping away at Sydney's problem-plagued light rail project were forced to stop digging yesterday after they stumbled upon human remains just outside Central Station.
NSW Police were immediately called to the Chalmers St discovery however the appearance and depth of the bones led officers to believe the bones were from an old Sydney cemetery.
The area near Central Station was once the site of the Devonshire St cemetery, consecrated in 1820.
Many of Sydney's early settlers were buried at the site but by 1901, plans to build Central Station in the same area led to the cemetery being closed.
Before the cemetery was closed, it was commonplace for families who were unable to afford a plot in the Devonshire St cemetery to instead bury their loved ones on the outskirts of the site.
While the human remains aren't being treated as suspicious, construction has been temporarily suspended until archaeologists inspect the site.
It's yet another setback to the $1.8 billion light rail project, which has been plagued by problems, with construction running months behind schedule and contractors taking legal action against the State Government.
The project was supposed to be finished by March 2019 but numerous delays have pushed the project forward more than a year with construction to be completed by May 2020.
A spokeswoman for the consortium of Alstom, Acciona, Transdev and Capella Capital (ALTRAC), told the Sydney Morning Herald the bones were "respectfully removed by heritage experts and analysis by a forensic anthropologist [at] the University of Sydney confirmed the bones to be human".