Most of the Newcastle light rail route along Hunter and Scott streets is now closed to traffic and parking as construction work ramps up on the project.
Workers shut off three blocks of Scott Street, from Newcomen Street to Pacific Street, overnight, leaving access lanes into apartment garages. They also shut another block of Hunter Street east of Darby Street.
Cars and buses in Watt Street were still able to cross Scott Street.
The light rail route narrows at Scott Street, where cars and trams will share one lane in each direction beside a wider footpath along the Market Street Lawn and Newcastle train station.
Further west, on the section of the route running along the former rail corridor, contractors for Downer EDI poured the first strip of concrete between Worth Place and Steel Street on Tuesday morning.
Another block of Hunter Street, from Union Street to Auckland Street, was closed last week, but two lanes of traffic between Auckland and Merewether streets reopened late in December on either side of the first section of rails to be laid.
It is unclear how long the work will take, but the Revitalising Newcastle website says trams will start running in early 2019.
The work will include replacing a 1909 sewer line buried six metres below parts of Scott and Hunter streets, which will extend the construction period in some areas and result in water outages.
Parking will be removed permanently along the entire 1.7km stretch of light rail from Worth Place to Telford Street, near Newcastle beach.