NEW HARBOUR CROSSING A STEP CLOSER
Travelling under Sydney’s famous harbour is a step closer to being faster and more reliable with the first stages of the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Program moving to the next stage of the planning process.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance confirmed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade will go on public display in early January 2020, allowing the community more time to have their say.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Program is an important part of the NSW Government’s vision to create an integrated transport network and listening to the community will help inform the final outcome,” Mr Constance said.
“This is a program of works our city desperately needs to ease congestion. Currently 4.3 million passenger trips are made across Sydney Harbour each week, making the Warringah Freeway one of the busiest and most complex roads in the country.
“This program will help to ease pressure on the road network and commuters, with a direct connection to WestConnex it will also bust congestion on the Anzac Bridge, Western Distributor and Sydney Harbour Bridge corridor.”
Mr Constance said travel times will be slashed once this part of the work is complete. “The first part of the program will deliver huge time savings, both for drivers and for public transport customers,” he said.
“Commuters travelling from Leichhardt to North Sydney will save 20 minutes off their trip. It’ll also save 15 minutes for anyone travelling from North Sydney to the Airport and up to 25 minutes off a trip between Parramatta and Manly.
“Bus customers will also experience time-savings with a continuous southbound bus lane on the Warringah Freeway from Miller Street to the Sydney Harbour Bridge plus new direct connections to the Victoria Cross Metro station at North Sydney.
“Access will also improve for cyclists and pedestrians across the project, including new and enhanced paths along and across the Warringah Freeway and Wakehurst Parkway.”
The NSW Government has also committed to enhancing public spaces upon completion of the project and delivering quick wins for locals along the way. At Berrys Bay improved public access to the beach will be delivered before construction begins.
“We’ve already received some really important feedback on the program and I want to thank the local community for helping us with that,” Mr Constance said.
“We will be working with the original landscape architect for Yurulbin Park to deliver some really great outcomes there. We’ve also heard the community’s views on Berrys Bay and we can confirm a new public space will be developed at that site once this project is complete. We’ll also be working closely with local council and the community to deliver new and improved recreational and sports facilities at Balgowlah.”
The planning process for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Program will be staged, in line with other infrastructure projects of this scale, such as Sydney Metro. The EIS for the Beaches Link is expected to be available for public exhibition from mid-2020.
The program includes:
- Western Harbour Tunnel – The Western Harbour Tunnel includes a new western bypass of the Sydney CBD, which will take pressure off the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel and Anzac Bridge. The 6.5 kilometre twin tunnels will link Rozelle to the Warringah Freeway with three lanes in each direction.
- The Warringah Freeway upgrade – An upgrade to four kilometres of the Warringah Freeway, which is one of Australia’s busiest roads, to make space to connect the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link tunnels. The upgrade will streamline the way the road operates, reduce merging, provide a continuous dedicated bus lane, and provide connections to the new tunnels.
- Beaches Link – A new motorway tunnel connection from Seaforth and Balgowlah, under Middle Harbour, to the Warringah Freeway near Cammeray and the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon. The tunnel will be over seven kilometres long, and will be three lanes in each direction. Beaches Link is an integrated transport solution that will improve car and bus journey times to and from the Northern Beaches. It will also provide new connections to St Leonards and Macquarie Park linking people with jobs, education and services.