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 initiatives are now taking place to allow the NSW Government to make an informed decision in moving forward. These are:

  1. Field studies, including geotechnical tests at around 240 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. An ongoing community engagement program, including shopping centre pop-up displays, to gain community perspectives and 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 would 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 would 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 would deliver time savings for:

  • 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?

Around 240 borehole sites are being tested along the preferred route. These investigations will feed into engineering design, final costings for the project and further route analysis.

This geotechnical testing started in areas around the Warringah Freeway at depths of up to 150 metres, in April 2017 and will continue until late 2017.

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

It will also 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.

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

Geotechnical and field investigation locations

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

Tunnel ventilation and air quality

Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link ventilation systems will be designed to meet stringent in-tunnel, local and regional air quality criteria set by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the Environment Protection Authority and NSW Health.

View or download the tunnel ventilation and air quality fact sheet.

Community Feedback

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

More than 2,100 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 and community engagement activities are planned as the project continues. To be kept up to date on future events and updates, please register your details by emailing motorwaydevelopment@rms.nsw.gov.au or monitor the website across 2017 and into 2018 for details.

Over 700 people visited us to discuss the project and provide feedback at a series of shopping centre pop-up displays at Birkenhead Point, Chatswood, Brookvale and Balgowlah.

All community feedback being received is helping inform the decision making process as the project evolves.

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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