Community and Environment
Community feedback has been integral to the development of the Northern Beaches Hospital road upgrade project. Engagement with the community, businesses and other stakeholders has been ongoing since March 2014. Environmental Impact Statements were placed on public display in 2014 and 2015, and the community were invited to provide submissions on the project. All feedback received was carefully considered and many changes to the project have occurred in response to community issues.
Community feedback has been integral to the development and construction of the Northern Beaches Hospital road upgrade project.
Engagement with the community, businesses and other stakeholders has been ongoing since March 2014.
Nearly 20,000 community members have been consulted as part of this process. Environmental Impact Statements were placed on public display in 2014 and 2015, and the community were invited to provide submissions on the project. All feedback received was carefully considered and we have been able to make several improvements to the project based on the feedback received. You can view the submissions report from the project documents page.
We thank the community for its participation in this process.
The community was also invited to comment on the draft Urban Design and Landscape Plan (UDLP) report which outlines details and designs for the road project, underpass, pedestrian bridges and paths, landscaping and vegetation, noise wall, and road furniture (lighting, signage, shelters). The report was displayed in mid-2016 and included drop in sessions for residents and a community update distributed. Nearly ninety submissions were received. All feedback was considered and the final UDLP report was submitted to the Department of Planning and Environment and approved.
Community engagement continues throughout construction.
Engagement activities include door knocking, letterbox drops, email updates, community information sessions, meetings, work notifications, forums, information stalls, the Roads and Maritime website and one-on-one in person and telephone conversations with the community. The project team regularly meet with key stakeholders including Northern Beaches Council, emergency services, local schools, businesses, community groups and residents.
Extended working hours community agreements
When a community agreement is reached about extending working hours, it means the project team has been granted permission to extend working hours on section sections for specified periods of time. In order to receive approval to extend the working works, FYJV undertook a comprehensive community consultation for each community agreement and achieved a significantly positive response each time.
The extended hours of work provide more flexibility as well as:
- Mitigating potential disruptions to construction work because of wet weather
- Increasing work efficiency by using the available daylight on the weekends and times when the roads are quieter
Ferrovial York Joint Venture (FYJV) recently consulted with over 60 residents about extending working hours on Warringah Road on Saturdays. Working full days on Saturday may reduce the number of high noise activities occurring during night work along Warringah Road.
Ferrovial York Joint Venture (FYJV) also recently consulted with over 30 residents about extending working hours near Aquatic Drive on the weekend. Working full days on Saturday and Sunday may reduce the number of high noise activities occurring during night work along Aquatic Drive and Wakehurst Parkway.
FYJV prepared and submitted a report to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) that demonstrated a significant majority of the community supported the additional hours. FYJV received approval from the EPA to proceed with the extended working hours. You can view or download the two Community agreements regarding Warringah Road or Aquatic Drive for more information.
Community Information Centre
The Community Information Centre is located within the project site office at the corner of Warringah Road and Wakehurst Parkway. Members of the community are encouraged to visit the centre to find information about the project and speak to members of the project team. The centre is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and visitor parking is available on site. Disabled access is provided.
The community engagement team regularly attends the Frenchs Forest organic food markets. The markets are located at 5 Frenchs Forest Road East, Frenchs Forest.
Community members are encouraged to drop by and speak to the team about the project.
If you would like to know when they are next attending, or would like to speak to them at a later date please refer to speak to the team for contact details.
Community and Environment Forum
A Community and Environment Forum is held every six weeks. It was established to allow local residents and community members to discuss the project and provide feedback on key environmental and project issues. If you would like to be a member of the Forum, please contact the project team to register your interest.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Warringah Road and Wakehurst Parkway intersection was the scene of multiple high speed collisions when the two roads were dirt tracks through the bush.
To warn motorists of the danger, a blinking light was suspended above the intersection in 1952. It quickly became a local landmark.
Local residents approached Roads and Maritime to formally name the intersection as a tribute to the local history of the area upon completion of the road upgrade project.
The community voted on the name and after considering feedback, Roads and Maritime officially named the intersection of Warringah Road and Wakehurst Parkway ‘The Blinking Light Intersection’ in November 2018.
Roads and Maritime aims to deliver a project that is physically and visually integrated with its surrounding environment, enhances community connectivity and engages the road user with the unique and defining characteristics of the local context.
To achieve this, Ferrovial York Joint Venture prepared an Urban Design and Landscape Plan (UDLP) report which outlines details and designs for the road project, underpass, pedestrian bridges and paths, landscaping and vegetation, noise wall, and road furniture (lighting, signage, shelters).
A draft version of the UDLP report was available for community comment in June 2016. All feedback was considered and the final UDLP report was submitted to the Department of Planning and Environment and approved.
The impacts of the project have been examined thoroughly in the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). These documents available to view or download from the project documents page provide details of expected impacts and outline measures to manage and mitigate these impacts.
These impacts include environment, noise, vibration, biodiversity, land use, heritage, air quality, flora and fauna.
Vegetation and trees
Where possible, trees within the project site are being protected and will form part of the final Urban Design and Landscape Plan.
However, the project will result in the removal of trees and vegetation, including some Duffys Forest vegetation, which is an endangered ecological community. Only those trees necessary for the road project are being removed.
Strict environmental controls and processes are in place, as outlined in the EIS, Construction Environmental Management Plans, and the Conditions of Approval from the Department of Planning and Environment. Please refer to the project documents page to view or download these.
To offset the removal of vegetation, ‘Biodiversity offsets’ are proposed which include protection and conservation of an area of land with similar conservation value.
Roads and Maritime is also revegetating the area with local seeds sourced from within Frenchs Forest. Revegetation will be carried out within the construction zone and delivered progressively.
A Construction Flora and Fauna Management Plan is in place to ensure appropriate measures are in place to protect the environment during construction, including establishing exclusion zones and regular monitoring.As a tribute to the local history of the area, cuttings from a historic pear tree (remnant pear tree of the former Holland’s Orchard have been planted), were taken from the tree on Warringah Road, near The Forest High School. Three small pear trees have been propagated and are now flourishing. The image to the right shows the original tree along with the three new ones that will be planted in the area.
Protecting local fauna
Many species of fauna are found within the area, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. As part of the EIS, extensive studies have assessed the potential impact of the project on these fauna and outlined measures to avoid or minimise any impacts.
The project ecologist is regularly on site to ensure best practice during clearing to minimise any harm to flora and fauna. If animals are found during clearing, work stops and the animal relocated to a suitable habitat within the local area. Before clearing, an ecologist identifies any hollow bearing trees and helps determine suitable locations for the installation of nest boxes.
To ensure fauna can safely access vegetation on either side of the upgrade, rope bridges and culvert crossings will be included where appropriate, with input from ecological specialists.
Fauna fencing would be used to minimise the possibility of vehicle strikes once road construction has been completed.
For more information, please view or download the Flora and Fauna Fact Sheet.