The Australian state of Queensland has awarded two contracts worth A$68m (US$66.9m) for early works on the state’s A$949m light rail system.

Early works include surveying, road widening, intersection upgrades, landscaping, concreting and paving the roads along the rail route.

The Australian State of Queensland, the federal government and the Gold Coast City Council jointly signed an agreement last year to fund the construction of the project.

Stage I of the project, to be complete by 2014, involves building a 13km line linking Griffith University to Broadbeach South, while the future stages will link to Helensvale in the north and Coolangatta in the south.

The federal government will contribute A$365m to the project, while the Queensland Government will contribute A$464m in addition to A$120m from the Gold Coast City Council.