Work has begun on the $170 million Airport East project, which will provide a new road underpass linking General Holmes Drive, Botany Road and Wentworth Avenue in Sydney.

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said the Airport East project will replace the General Holmes Drive rail level crossing with a road underpass linking General Holmes Drive, Botany Road and Wentworth Avenue.

“There will also be improvements to the Mill Pond Road intersection, along with widening of Joyce Drive and General Holmes Drive to three lanes in each direction between O’Riordan Street and Mill Pond Road,” Ms Pavey said.

“The Airport East project forms part of the New South Wales Government’s Sydney Airport precinct upgrades.”

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said the project, which includes $40 million of funding from the Australian government, will improve the movement of rail freight to and from Port Botany while improving traffic flow from the airport.

“Sydney Airport and Port Botany are two of Australia’s most important international gateways but roads in the area are increasingly congested due to the rising numbers of passenger, freight and commuter vehicles,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Motorists who use these roads know how important the Airport East project will be to improving congestion around the airport and Port Botany.

“Once finished in 2019, congestion through this area will be reduced in both the morning and evening peaks, making trips to and from the airport easier, with less time wasted sitting in traffic.”

Work on the Airport West project is expected to be completed in mid-2017 and work is expected to start on the Airport North project in late 2017.

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