Sydney's $22m Cloud Arch Set to be Scrapped


Sydney's controversial archway installation, proposed to straddle George Street, looks set to be withdrawn with the city's plagued light rail project to blame.

The 58-metre tall steel archway, designed by Junya Ishigami, was projected to cost $3.5 million, yet delays to work caused by the city's light rail construction has now blown the installation out to $22 million.

Acciona, the Spanish construction company responsible for the $2.1 billion light rail project, has been embroiled in delays, costs blowouts including legal battles between the government, local businesses and subcontractors.

The company's operations in Sydney's CBD now seem to have had a knock on effect, causing multiple design changes to the Cloud Arch, delaying its installation and doubling its price.

City of Sydney councillors will now convene to cancel the artwork after Spanish light rail builder repeatedly "denied access" to install the arch's footings.

Related: Sydney Gallery Receives $344m Development Approval

Sydney's Cloud Arch will likely receive the chop due to cost blowouts and delays caused by the light rail.
Sydney's Cloud Arch will likely receive the chop due to cost blowouts and delays caused by the light rail.

A report set to be presented to councillors has recommended "council cancel the proposal for the contract in relation to the tender for the fabrication and installation of Cloud Arch" until the light rail is completed.

Despite an agreement between council and Transport for NSW to erect the artwork, Acciona had not agreed to provide access to install the footings, with the company blocking all solutions.

The main reason for the companies apprehension surrounds the “difficulty” of installing footings.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who only last year described the cloud arch design as the “most significant artwork built in Australia in decades”, has now resigned to the fact that the sculpture in all likelihood will not move forward.

“Sadly, the ongoing delays to the Light Rail project have impacted on Cloud Arch,” Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore said on Twitter.

“Costs have increased due to a number of factors and challenges outside the City of Sydney’s control and I don't believe we can justify the investment of ratepayer funds on this project at the current time.”

“I am very concerned that if Cloud Arch was to go ahead there would be the risk that it would continue to be hampered given what is going on.”

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