Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the mega-project will include twin tunnels under Middle Harbour with three lanes in each direction, allowing commuters to avoid peak hour congestion on the Spit Bridge, Military Road and the Roseville Bridge.
“Beaches Link will transform the way people move to and from the Northern Beaches, bypassing 19 sets of traffic lights through The Spit, Mosman and Neutral Bay and help save up to 56 minutes between Dee Why and Sydney airport,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Residents in Neutral Bay, Mosman and Cremorne will experience less congestion and noise, with traffic volumes expected to reduce by around a third along Spit Road.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link program is expected to support around 15,000 full-time jobs.”
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the project will integrate with new and existing public transport connections.
“There will be the opportunity for new express bus services to key centres including St Leonards, Macquarie Park, North Sydney and Sydney CBD, and direct access to North Sydney to interchange with the new Sydney Metro,” Mr Constance said.
“We’re also planning more than five kilometres of new cycle and pedestrian pathways, including links to the Northern Beaches Hospital precinct.
“This is the next stage of the consultation process, giving the community another opportunity to have its say.
“Transport for NSW has adapted its community engagement in line with current health advice regarding COVID-19, and will be providing enhanced online engagement with virtual information sessions throughout January and February.
“We’ll also work closely with locals in Balgowlah, where we’ll be returning an area equivalent to around 90% of the current open space to the community. Further consultation will be held with the community on open space in Balgowlah later in 2021.”
The tunnel will be up to 108 metres in depth (approximately 33 storeys) and include new connections on the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon, Warringah Freeway at Cammeray and direct access onto Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation at Balgowlah and Wakehurst Parkway at Seaforth.
The Wakehurst Parkway will be widened from one lane to two in each direction between Seaforth and Frenchs Forest.
The project is also expected to slash future travel times by:
- up to 38 minutes between Balgowlah and Sydney CBD
- up to 54 minutes between Frenchs Forest and Rozelle
- up to 32 minutes between Manly and Macquarie Park.
The EIS will be on extended public exhibition from Wednesday 9 December 2020 until Monday 1 March 2021.