Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link

The NSW Government continues to progress planning for the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link.

Less Time in Traffic, More Time for You!

Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link is a major transport infrastructure proposal that will make it easier, faster and safer to get around Sydney.

The NSW Government has now released the proposed reference design for this landmark project.

We want to hear what you think about where we are up to. Roads and Maritime is now commencing community engagement on the reference design presented in this document.

We encourage you to provide us with your feedback to help us develop the best project we can.

Updates and announcements

Project update: Proposed reference design released

In March 2017, the NSW Government released a project concept and started detailed design work on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project.

Since then, there has been extensive community engagement, geotechnical testing, field studies and market sounding with the finance and construction industries.

These project updates provide an overview of how the proposed designs have evolved, incorporating feedback from community and stakeholder groups over the past year.

Air quality monitoring

The NSW Government announced in February 2018 stronger measures on emissions from motorway tunnels.

Under these reforms, the ventilation outlets of all current and future operating motorway tunnels in NSW will be regulated by the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The EPA will require tunnel operators to meet air quality limits and undertake air quality monitoring, where practicable.

Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link is one of the first major transport infrastructure programs in NSW required to undergo additional checks before planning determination which includes the:

  • Advisory Committee on Tunnel Air Quality (ACTAQ) coordinating a scientific review of the project’s air emissions from ventilation outlets
  • NSW Chief Health Officer releasing a statement on the potential health impacts of emissions from tunnel ventilation outlets; and
  • Minister for Planning not approving a motorway tunnel project until the ACTAQ scientific review is considered.

Existing measures monitoring the air quality inside motorway tunnels remain in place.

Environmental planning

Once we have received community and stakeholder feedback on the proposed reference design, we will refine the design and prepare the Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).

The EISs will provide more detailed information on the project and assessment of potential impacts.

In December 2017, the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) issued the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the project. The SEARs establish the issues that must be addressed in the EIS.

There will be further community engagement during the EIS exhibition period, including further community sessions.

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