Planning progresses for the Western Harbour Tunnel in Sydney

An industry event focusing on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade in Sydney has highlighted the potential for thousands of jobs to be created and travel times reduced for motorists.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson said the program of works will form part of the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link program.

“We’ve been working closely with local communities on this vital program, which will support around 15,000 full-time equivalent jobs and deliver faster and more reliable journeys under Sydney’s famous harbour,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s also important we keep stakeholders and industry informed on what will become a major social and economic driver that helps to re-boot the State’s economy.”

The spokesperson said the third crossing of the Sydney Harbour was a nationally significant piece of infrastructure that would tackle congestion on one of the busiest and most complex corridors.

Twin tunnels 6.5 kilometres long would stretch from the WestConnex in Rozelle to the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney, underneath Sydney Harbour.

“The western bypass of the CBD will provide new levels of access to jobs, recreation and services such as schools and hospitals,” the spokesperson said.

They said the Warringah Freeway upgrade would also increase motorists safety and enable public transport to be more reliable with upgraded active transport links.

“Motorists would experience travel time savings of up to 20 minutes between Leichhardt and North Sydney, 20 minutes between Sydney Olympic Park and North Sydney, and 15 minutes between North Sydney and the airport.”

Cyclist and pedestrian access would also be improved as part of the program, along with enhanced open spaces.

As with other major projects such as the Sydney Metro, the planning will be staged and the community will be kept updated as the project progresses.

Transport for NSW estimates the benefits of this project to be as follows:

  • The Western Harbour Tunnel is a game-changer for NSW and will reduce pressure on key corridors such as the ANZAC Bridge, Western Distributor, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel.
  • Travel time savings including up to 20 minutes between Leichhardt and North Sydney, 20 minutes between Sydney Olympic Park and North Sydney, and 15 minutes between North Sydney and the airport.
  • Around 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.
  • The upgrade of around four kilometres of the Warringah Freeway between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Willoughby Road will provide a more seamless journey, with fewer merges, improved safety and more reliable journeys.
  • The Warringah Freeway Upgrade will also provide a continuous dedicated bus lane and connections to the new tunnels.

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