NSW Premier Mike Baird today announced the immediate start of planning work for new north-south extensions to WestConnex – a key priority project in the NSW Government’s war on congestion in Sydney.
Mr Baird said his proposal to unlock $20 billion for critical infrastructure projects across NSW means projects like WestConnex can be fast-tracked.
“We have an opportunity for a once-in-a-generation assault on the urban congestion that is a constant frustration for Sydneysiders,” Mr Baird said.
“The NSW Government is determined to deliver the projects that will help get this city moving again, to turbocharge productivity and allow people to spend more time with their families and friends.
“I want this planning work done upfront so we can get moving straight away if voters share our vision in March next year.”
Mr Baird said the WestConnex Delivery Authority has been asked to prepare a business case for the new WestConnex extensions:
- South – linking towards Sutherland Shire and the Illawarra; and
- North - linking towards the ANZAC Bridge and Victoria Road.
Both extensions were identified as vital pieces of Sydney’s future infrastructure in the NSW Government’s Long Term Transport Master Plan, announced in 2012.
The two WestConnex extensions would provide an uninterrupted motorway corridor from Sydney’s south to the ANZAC Bridge, CBD at Darling Harbour and Sydney’s north
“After 65 years of waiting, Sydney’s south can finally be brought closer to the city’s CBD,” Mr Baird said.
“Previously these two motorway connections would have taken more than a decade to build - now we have an opportunity to build them sooner.
“The NSW Government has directed WestConnex Delivery Authority to examine whether WestConnex can be extended, either side of the M4 and M5, to create a new WestConnex north-south corridor between ANZAC Bridge and south of the Airport.
“WDA is expected to report back to government by the end of the year.
“These two new motorway extensions would make travel from Kogarah, Sutherland, Cronulla and Wollongong to Sydney’s CBD quicker and more reliable.
“For the first time, Sydney would have a genuine north-south corridor to the west of the CBD, to complement the Eastern Distributor in the east and to take pressure off that busy transport corridor.
“It could also provide significant relief to the City West Link at Haberfield by allowing motorists to bypass traffic lights along that stretch of road and connect directly to the CBD at Darling Harbour.
“An expanded WestConnex means M4 motorists travelling from Parramatta to Sydney’s CBD could completely avoid the City West Link and travel a motorway road all the way to the city.
Mr Baird said the northern extension would also provide direct access from Sydney’s north to Western Sydney, opening up new employment and service opportunities for both markets.
WestConnex will create 10,000 jobs, including hundreds of apprenticeships for young people, and generate $20 billion in benefits to NSW during construction alone.