Excavation has begun on the first stage of Sydney’s Western Harbour Tunnel, which will carve out 1.7km of mainline tunnels from Rozelle to Birchgrove.

Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward, said this was a significant milestone in the delivery of Sydney’s historic third harbour crossing.

“Major construction has now commenced on the Western Harbour Tunnel – one of the most significant transport infrastructure projects being delivered in Sydney,” Ms Ward said.

“This really is a historic moment for our city. It was 90 years ago that construction completed on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and 30 years since the Sydney Harbour Tunnel opened. Today, construction is commencing on Sydney’s third harbour crossing.”

The Western Harbour Tunnel will link WestConnex at the Rozelle Interchange with the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney via 6.5km tunnels under Sydney Harbour.

With three lanes in each direction, commuters are set to save up to 15 minutes when travelling from North Sydney to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport. 

The John Holland CPB Joint Venture, which is undertaking the Rozelle Interchange works, is also delivering stage one of the Western Harbour Tunnel. 

This will allow the Western Harbour Tunnel project to transition into the major construction phase through leveraging existing skills, equipment and resources and reducing disruption to the local community.   

“Once complete, this important new connection will change the way commuters move across the city, taking pressure off key transport arteries including the Harbour Bridge and Tunnel, Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor,” Ms Ward said. 

“Our government is delivering projects that make it faster, easier and safer for commuters to move around our city as part of our $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline.” 

The construction contract to deliver the second stage of work of northern tunnelling from Birchgrove through Sydney Harbour and onto North Sydney will be awarded in late 2022.

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