Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link

Roads and Maritime Services has taken the first step in planning for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link project by lodging a State Significant Infrastructure Application. Since the NSW Government announced the project in March 2017, Roads and Maritime has conducted field investigations, market sounding and extensive community engagement.

Updates and announcements

A State Significant Infrastructure Application (SSIA) (PDF, 644Mb) has been lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E). An SSIA is lodged early in the planning process to identify topics that must be assessed in any future Environmental Impact Statement.

Scoping Reports prepared by Roads and Maritime on the SSIA can be viewed on the DP&E Major Projects website and via:

Find out more about community feedback to-date, including key topics of interest raised by community members during the engagement program, in our new Community Update (PDF, 1.87Mb).

About this project

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

As part of the project, the Warringah Freeway Upgrade will make the road safer and more efficient.

View or download our fact sheet on the development of the Western Harbour Tunnel.

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 and the Wakehurst Parkway. The Wakehurst Parkway will be upgraded to two lanes each way between Seaforth and Frenchs Forest.

The project will also offer new ‘east-west’ connectivity with links to the Lane Cove Tunnel and M2 Motorway via a Gore Hill Freeway Connection.

View or download our fact sheet on the development of Beaches Link.

Community feedback

Communication and stakeholder engagement was identified by the NSW Government as  one of three critical work streams required for the project as it progresses from the initial concept design to detailed  design by mid-2018.

From late April and across May, June and July, Roads and Maritime undertook the first phase of communication and stakeholder engagement. We have had over 4,000 face-to-face conversations with people interested in the project, with over 2,400 written submissions received to date.

The project team will continue to engage with the community as the project moves to the next stages. Community feedback will continue to assist in the decision making process for the project.

Find out more about the background of the project by viewing or downloading the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link fact sheet.

Next steps

Work currently underway includes detailed financial analysis, discussions with the private sector over funding options, community engagement, as well as extensive field work such as geotechnical studies, traffic analysis, noise and air quality monitoring, and flora, fauna and marine ecology studies.

This next stage of work is expected to be completed by mid-2018 and will include a detailed design, confirmed final project costings, funding strategy including tolling options and private sector involvement as well as a construction timeline including start and completion dates.

Field work so far

Marine geotechnical investigations were carried out in Sydney Harbour and Middle Harbour between April and July 2017. These investigations have now been completed.

The land based geotechnical program, with borehole sites being tested in suburbs including Balmain, North Sydney, Cammeray, Northbridge, Balgowlah, Seaforth and Frenchs Forest, is now around 90 per cent complete.

These investigations have been feeding into engineering design, final costings for the project and further route analysis.

Before geotechnical and other field work starts at each site, Roads and Maritime Services will notify the local community.

View or download the geotechnical and field work notifications across the preferred route.

Project 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.

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 Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link tunnel ventilation and air quality fact sheet.

An extensive air quality monitoring program is being carried out as part of the development of the project, with air quality monitoring stations established at a number of sites along the preferred route to gather baseline data.

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.

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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