Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link

The NSW Government has announced a preferred route and next steps for the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project.

Updates and announcements

Three key actions will now take place over the next year to allow the NSW Government to make an informed decision in moving forward. These are:

  1. Field studies, including geotechnical tests at up to 235 sites along the length of the preferred route between Rozelle and Frenchs Forest. View or download the geotechnical notifications across the preferred route.
  2. An interactive market sounding program to gain world’s best practice knowledge from the construction industry and to test the appetite of the finance industry for the delivery of a project of this scale
  3. The start of an ongoing community engagement program, including Community Feedback Sessions, to gain community perspectives and to help better inform the decision making process.

About this project

The proposal has been identified in the 2012 Long Term Transport Master Plan and other major planning documents as a priority infrastructure project for Sydney.

Beaches Link is a tunnel which will connect to the Warringah Freeway, cross under Middle Harbour connecting with the Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation at Balgowlah. The Wakehurst Parkway will be upgraded to two lanes each way between Seaforth and Frenchs Forest.

The Western Harbour Tunnel will connect to WestConnex at the Rozelle Interchange, cross underneath Sydney Harbour between the Birchgrove and Waverton areas and connect with the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney.

To learn more about the project, view or download the fact sheet.

Project objectives and benefits

Key objectives of the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project are:

  • Improve Northern Beaches public transport
  • Future-proof Sydney’s transport to meet population and growth challenges
  • ‘Step change’ for public transport for the Northern Beaches and Mosman
  • Deliver a new crossing of Sydney Harbour to make Sydney’s busiest transport corridor shock-proof
  • Cut congestion across northern Sydney and the Sydney CBD
  • Better access to jobs, education and community services for northern Sydney
  • Provide better East-West, North-South connectivity
  • Reduce rat-running on local community roads.

Busting congestion

Every year, congestion costs the economy $5 billion and this is forecast to increase to $8 billion a year by 2020 if nothing is done. This congestion-busting project will deliver time savings of:

  • Brookvale to CBD of up to 40 minutes
  • Dee Why to Airport of up to 45 minutes
  • Manly to Macquarie Park of up to 35 minutes
  • Manly to Parramatta of up to 45 minutes
  • Seaforth to North Sydney of up to 35 minutes.

What is happening now?

Over the next six months, up to 235 borehole sites will be tested along the preferred route. These investigations will feed into engineering design, final costings for the project and further route analysis.

This testing will begin in areas around the Warringah Freeway at depths of up to 150 metres, shortly after Easter, 2017.

Further field work over the coming months will include traffic analysis, noise and air quality monitoring, and flora, fauna and marine ecology studies.

This next stage of work is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

This will include developing a reference design; confirmed final project costings; funding strategy including tolling options and private sector involvement; and construction timeline including start and completion dates.

Geotechnical investigation locations

Before geotechnical work starts at each site, Roads and Maritime Services will notify the local community around each site. View or download the geotechnical notifications across the preferred route.

Community Feedback – Pop-up displays

Community feedback has been a key part of the work currently underway.

More than 2,000 people attended our 16 Community Feedback Sessions across the preferred route, at Mosman, McMahons Point, Chatswood, Balmain, Brookvale, Northbridge, North Sydney and Seaforth.

Further sessions are planned as the project continues.

For more information about the project, visit us at one of our upcoming pop up displays in your local shopping centre.

Meet members of the project team to ask questions and provide your feedback.

Venues, dates and times are:

Westfield Warringah Mall
Wednesday 28 June, 10am – 2pm
Thursday 29 June, 3pm – 6pm
Friday 30 June, 10am – 2pm
Saturday 1 July, 9am – 12pm

Stockland Balgowlah
Thursday 6 July, 3pm – 6pm
Saturday 8 July, 9am – 12pm

Westfield Chatswood
Wednesday 12 July, 10am – 2pm
Thursday 13 July, 3pm – 6pm
Friday 14 July, 10am – 2pm
Saturday 15 July, 9am – 12pm

Our pop up displays will continue until late July and all feedback being received is helping inform the decision making process as the project evolves.

Balmain-Birchgrove features

Features of the project in the Balmain-Birchgrove area:

  • There will be NO tunnel exhaust ventilation facilities in Balmain - Birchgrove
  • We do NOT plan to use Birchgrove Oval as a construction site
  • Tunnels would be an average of 50 metres beneath Balmain - Birchgrove
  • NO heavy construction traffic on local streets - water transport is planned

Cammeray features

Features of the project in the Cammeray area:

  • Tunnel portals INSIDE existing freeway corridor
  • STREAMLINED and SAFER freeway operations
  • WORLD’S BEST PRACTICE tunnel ventilation
  • LESS rat-running on local streets
  • PROTECTING Cammeray’s village feel

Our commitment

We will:

  • Engage openly with all stakeholders
  • Minimise property needs
  • Develop designs that reduce construction impacts
  • Always work in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner.
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