Cross City Tunnel - completed

The Cross City Tunnel motorway runs in an east-west direction between the eastern side of Darling Harbour and Kings Cross.

Cross City Tunnel map

Project background

The Cross City Tunnel motorway links the Western Distributor to New South Head Road and also connects to the Eastern Distributor. Traffic can flow directly from the eastern suburbs to the northern parts of the Central Business District (CBD) and then the northern suburbs via the bridge and harbour tunnel crossings.

The tunnel improves travel times for commuters by taking them below the city. The tunnel reaches a maximum depth of 53 metres below Hyde Park. The Cross City Tunnel project has resulted in a safer and more pleasant street environment for pedestrians, residents and workers by removing traffic, improving air quality and providing more footpath space in some locations.

The Cross City Tunnel is currently operated by Transurban CCT Pty Ltd.

For information on using the Cross City Tunnel, see the Cross City Tunnel website.


Improving public transport was a key focus of the Cross City Tunnel project. Bus priority lanes were implemented as a result of shifting some traffic underground. As a result bus travel is faster and more reliable.

Benefits for local communities include:

  • Local streets are safer and more pleasant for pedestrians, residents and workers with some intrusive through traffic removed to the tunnel, and more footpath space made available in some streets (for example, William Street)
  • The creation of a landscaped 'pocket park' over the eastern entrance/exit of the tunnel at Rushcutters Bay
  • The reduction in travel times for trips across the city to approximately 2 minutes by avoiding 18 sets of traffic lights. Surface trips can take over 20 minutes
  • Improved access and movement across the city for taxis, delivery vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians
  • Improved reliability of bus services in the city
  • Improved air quality, particularly at street level
  • The installation of cycleways and upgrades to local parks and roadside landscaping
  • Preservation of heritage sites.


  • The Cross City Motorway Pty Ltd was contracted to build and operate the Cross City Tunnel. This was a privately owned, special purpose company created solely for the Cross City Tunnel project
  • Cross City Motorway Pty Ltd engaged the Baulderstone Hornibrook/Bilfinger Berger (BHBB) Joint Venture to design and construct the project.
  • The tunnel is scheduled to revert to public ownership in 2035.

Did you know?

  • Nine 100 tonne tunnel road headers were used to bore the eight and a half kilometres of the Cross City Tunnel
  • For the first time in NSW history, four of these machines were lowered down a 42 metre vertical access shaft, allowing 24 hour tunnelling
  • During peak periods in the project, around 5000 tonnes of spoil was removed daily via 150 truck and trailer roads
  • By the project's completion, approximately 680,000 cubic metres of spoil had been removed. Around 92 per cent of this was reused in other road projects
  • Under normal traffic conditions a driver can cross the city from east to west or west to east using the Cross City Tunnel in around two minutes!

Crunching the numbers!

The quantities of materials removed to build the Cross City Tunnel provide some sense of the scope of this project:

  • 120,000 cubic metres of rock was removed
  • 680,000 cubic metres of spoil was excavated
  • 32,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured.

The tunnel contains:

  • 4000 fluorescent lights
  • 420 kilometres of electric cables
  • 546 electronic signs and 300 static signs
  • 108 emergency phones
  • 133 CCTV cameras
  • 4500 cubic metres of asphalt
  • 44,000 rock bolts.
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