Sydney Harbour

Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link

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

Latest news

FEB 2020

FEB 2020Environmental Impact Statement exhibition period extended

Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Environmental Impact Statement exhibition period extended.

Thank you to everyone who has made a submission so far on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Following requests from local community members, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has extended the exhibition end date of the Western Harbour Tunnel & Warringah Freeway Upgrade EIS from the 12 March to 30 March 2020.

This will provide you with an extra 18 days to write your submissions and provide them to DPIE for consideration. You can make your submission on the Project, by visiting the DPIE portal.

The exhibition period is now a total of 61 days which is similar to the EIS display period for the WestConnex M4-M5 Link project.

We are holding additional information sessions to support the extension of the exhibition period. Our new sessions are:

  • Thursday 5 March 2020, Norths 12 Abbott Street, Cammeray, 4pm – 7pm
  • Thursday 12 March 2020, Balmain Town Hall, 370 Darling Street, Balmain, 4pm - 7pm
  • Thursday 26 March 2020, Fred Hutley Hall, 200 Miller Street, North Sydney, 4pm - 7pm
JAN 2020

JAN 2020EIS on display

Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade Environmental Impact Statement now on display.

The Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade is an important part of our vision to create an integrated road and public transport network, balancing the needs of motorists and local communities.

We thank you for the feedback you have provided so far, which has helped us make a number of positive improvements to the project. We welcome your submission on the EIS. Submissions must be made directly to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) by 30 March 2020. We encourage you to make your submission using the online form on the DPIE website.

Find out more

Visit our interactive web portal to read the EIS, find out more or ask our team a question.

Meet and talk with our team

Thank you to the over 900 people who have already visited our six community information sessions across Balmain, Cammeray and North Sydney.

We are holding an additional three information sessions to support the extension of the EIS exhibition period.

We will also be attending a number of local community markets, so please look out for us.

NOV 2019

NOV 2019Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade

Following consideration of your feedback, we have prepared a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We expect the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) to place the EIS on public exhibition for your important feedback in early 2020.

Our commitment is for the public exhibition period to be at least six weeks to allow more time for you to review the information, ask questions of our project team and make a submission to DPIE. For more information please see our community update (PDF, 3.27Mb) or contact the team.

You can learn more about the project in your local area by viewing our latest factsheets.

NOV 2019

NOV 2019Beaches Link

We have now updated the Proposed Reference Design for Beaches Link. This includes a number of key construction sites and design features of the project, including:

  • Flat Rock Drive temporary tunnelling site
  • Wakehurst Parkway temporary tunnelling site
  • A refined construction site layout and access road alignment at Balgowlah.

Because of these changes, it will take us more time to finalise the EIS for public exhibition. We expect to have the Beaches Link EIS available for public exhibition from mid-2020. For more information please see our community update (PDF, 3.54Mb) or contact the team.

You can learn more about the project in your local area by viewing our latest factsheets.

Project information

The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link program is an important part of our vision to create an integrated road and public transport network, balancing the needs of motorists and local communities.

The program consists of:

  • Western Harbour Tunnel which stretches from the Warringah Freeway at Cammeray, across Sydney Harbour, to the WestConnex interchange at Rozelle.
  • Beaches Link which provides an alternative to the Spit Bridge for the Northern Beaches, connecting through to the Warringah Freeway and Gore Hill Freeway.

We will also be upgrading the connection point of the two tunnels, the Warringah Freeway.

Since mid-2018 we have been on a process of extensive community consultation on the reference designs of these projects.

The latest information can be found in the projects community updates:

Proposed reference design
View or download the proposed reference design map (JPG, 1.71Mb).

The proposed reference design for Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link was released on 26 July 2018 and extensive community engagement was undertaken through to 1 December 2018.

The engagement included 20 community information sessions that were held across the proposed alignment, including at Balmain, North Sydney, Crows Nest, Mosman, Cammeray and Balgowlah. The sessions were attended by more than 2,600 people.

In total, more than 7,300 items of feedback were received by the project team during the engagement phase, including more than 4,000 comments pinned to two online comment maps.

The 2018 community engagement builds on the engagement carried out for the 2017 concept design.

Please drop in any time at one of our community information sessions to meet the team, find out more about the project and learn more about the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

  • 6 February 2020 Balmain 4pm -7pm Balmain Town Hall 370 Darling Street, Balmain
  • 8 February 2020 North Sydney 11am -2pm Fred Hutley Hall 200 Miller Street, North Sydney
  • 20 February 2020 Cammeray 4pm -7pm Norths 12 Abbott Street, Cammeray
  • 13 February 2020 North Sydney 4pm - 7pm Fred Hutley Hall 200 Miller Street, North Sydney
  • 22 February 2020 Balmain 11am - 2pm Balmain Town Hall 370 Darling Street, Balmain
  • 5 March 2020 Cammeray 4pm - 7pm Norths 12 Abbott Street, Cammeray
  • 12 March 2020 Balmain 4pm - 7pm Balmain Town Hall 370 Darling Street Balmain
  • 26 March 2020 North Sydney 4pm - 7pm Fred Hutley Hall 200 Miller Street North Sydney

Come and check out our mixed reality experience and see the Warringah Freeway Upgrade brought to life!

We will also be attending a number of local community markets during February and March, so please look out for us.

All feedback received on the proposed reference design has been recorded in the project database and has been considered by the project team in preparation for the exhibition of the EIS.

Western Harbour Tunnel

Access is now closed for comment. However, you may view the Western Harbour Tunnel online tool to see what others had to say about the project.

Beaches Link

Access is now closed for comment. However, you may view the Beaches Link online tool to see what others had to say about the project.

As with any major transport infrastructure project, Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link will be subject to a rigorous and comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

This assessment will examine all potential environmental and social impacts that may occur during the construction and operation of the project, and propose mitigation measures to avoid and manage these impacts. This includes traffic, air quality, noise and vibration, spoil disposal, sediment management, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, flora, fauna and marine ecology and sustainability.

In addition, feedback received on the proposed reference design during the 2018 community engagement will be considered as we prepare the Environmental Impact Statements.

There will be two Environmental Impact Statements – one for Western Harbour Tunnel (including Warringah Freeway upgrade) and one for Beaches Link (including the Gore Hill Freeway connection). Each will address the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) issued in December 2017. The SEARs establish issues that must be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement.

The environmental assessment will be managed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). There will be a public exhibition period and the documents will be available to view on the DPIE website.

You will be able to make formal submissions on the project once the EIS’s are on display. There will be further community engagement during the exhibition period.

The Environmental Impact Statements will be reviewed by DPIE, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, NSW Chief Health Officer, and independent reviewers before planning approval can be granted.

Project progress planning timeline

Project timeline

  • Preliminary planning - 2015-2017
  • Initial design - March 2017
  • State Significant Infrastructure Application - November 2017
  • Proposed reference design – 26 July, 2018
  • Community engagement - 26 July - 1 December, 2018
  • Environmental assessment - WE ARE HERE
  • Seek planning approval
  • Construction
  • Open to traffic.

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.

Share this page: