The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Sydney’s Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade is set to be released in early January 2020, moving the planning for the major project forward.
The EIS for the Beaches Link is also expected to be available for public exhibition from mid-2020.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Program is an important part of the NSW Government’s vision to create an integrated transport network and listening to the community will help inform the final outcome,” NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance said.
“This is a program of works our city desperately needs to ease congestion. Currently, 4.3 million passenger trips are made across Sydney Harbour each week, making the Warringah Freeway one of the busiest and most complex roads in the country.
“This program will help to ease pressure on the road network and commuters, with a direct connection to WestConnex it will also bust congestion on the Anzac Bridge, Western Distributor and Sydney Harbour Bridge corridor.”
Mr Constance said travel times will be slashed once this part of the work is complete.
“The first part of the program will deliver huge time savings, both for drivers and for public transport customers,” he said.
“Commuters travelling from Leichhardt to North Sydney will save 20 minutes off their trip. It’ll also save 15 minutes for anyone travelling from North Sydney to the Airport and up to 25 minutes off a trip between Parramatta and Manly.
“Bus customers will also experience time-savings with a continuous southbound bus lane on the Warringah Freeway from Miller Street to the Sydney Harbour Bridge plus new direct connections to the Victoria Cross Metro station at North Sydney.
“Access will also improve for cyclists and pedestrians across the project, including new and enhanced paths along and across the Warringah Freeway and Wakehurst Parkway.”
The NSW Government has also committed to enhancing public spaces upon completion of the project, as well as improved public access to Berrys Bay beach before construction begins.
“We’ve already received some really important feedback on the program and I want to thank the local community for helping us with that,” Mr Constance said.
“We will be working with the original landscape architect for Yurulbin Park to deliver some really great outcomes there. We’ve also heard the community’s views on Berrys Bay and we can confirm a new public space will be developed at that site once this project is complete. We’ll also be working closely with local council and the community to deliver new and improved recreational and sports facilities at Balgowlah.”
The planning process for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Program will be staged in line with other infrastructure projects of this scale, such as Sydney Metro.