A new Western Harbour Tunnel is the centrepiece of a $2.4 billion road plan to smash congestion on Sydney roads, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced today.
The tunnel will allow up to 50,000 vehicles to bypass the CBD by linking the Gore Hill or Warringah Freeway with a WestConnex extension at Rozelle – alleviating congestion on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Anzac Bridge and Eastern Distributor as well as in the CBD.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel and our other major road investments in Rebuilding NSW are part of a bold new vision to set our global city up for the 21st Century,” Mr Baird said.
“By busting congestion we will allow people will get to work quicker and home sooner to spend more time with their families.
“It will also turbocharge our economy – congestion currently costs Sydney $5 billion a year and is set to grow to $8 billion by 2020 unless we take urgent action.”
The Rebuilding NSW plan for Sydney roads, which adopts all the recommendations of Infrastructure NSW for a new State Infrastructure Strategy, includes:
- $1.1 billion for WestConnex northern and southern extensions, and a Western Harbour Tunnel;
- $400 million for Pinch Points and Clearways programs;
- $300 million for Gateway to the South upgrades;
- $400 million to implement Smart Motorways including investment in the M4; and
- $200 million for improvements to traffic management systems and the Transport Management Centre.
Mr Gay said the NSW Government will deliver northern and southern extensions to WestConnex, linking the motorway with the Anzac Bridge and Victoria Road to the north and near Kogarah to the south, as well as facilitating the Western Harbour Tunnel.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel project will be the next major motorway for development in Sydney and could commence around the beginning of the next decade,” Mr Gay said.
“It will provide people travelling from Western Sydney via the M4 with a direct link to employment centres in Sydney’s North and North West. It would also provide an alternative route to Sydney Airport from the north.
“The tunnel is expected to start at the Rozelle rail yards, near the Anzac Bridge, and travel under Sydney Harbour to link up with the Gore Hill or Warringah Freeway.
“Rebuilding NSW also includes an allocation worth $1.3 billion to unlock capacity of existing infrastructure and bust congestion in Sydney.
“The hugely successful Pinch Points Program, which is delivering major improvements to notorious traffic snarls across Sydney, will be expanded by a further $300 million. The Expanded Clearways program will receive $100 million.
“Pinch points between Sydney and the Illawarra will be targeted with a separate $300 million program as we continue to open up the Gateway to the South.
“The NSW Government will allocate $400 million to implement Smart Motorways, making use of innovative new technologies to help our motorways flow more freely.
“Road congestion is a daily blight on our global city – Rebuilding NSW makes an unprecedented investment to make it easier to travel around Sydney,” Mr Gay said.