Recently released NSW Government reports on the Beaches Link and Western Harbour tunnel reveal new information on the projects including details on the proposed design and construction of the tunnels, air quality and emission controls and the forecasted schedule for the works.
The Beaches Link Tunnel is slated to be an 11km tunnel connecting Seaforth and Balgowlah to Artarmon and North Sydney. The tunnel would provide onwards links to the Harbour Bridge, the Harbour Tunnel, and to the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel. Plans for the Western Harbour Tunnel indicate a 6.5km tunnel running from North Sydney to Rozelle with an onward connection to WestConnex.
The Government is also proposing upgrade works for the Warringah Freeway, to achieve integration of the tunnels into the existing road network. The new infrastructure will have provisions for express bus networks to ensure a more efficient public transport network and private use of the tunnels would be subject to tolls.
A timeline for the works indicates that community engagement will be undertaken later this year, and if all environmental approvals are obtained construction could commence in 2020 with the tunnels operational by 2026.
Congestion Relief for Mosman?
Interestingly, the reports provide insights as to what the new tunnels may mean for Mosman. Key statistics pulled from the reports indicate the government is expecting a 40% reduction in traffic on the Spit Bridge and 15% reduction of traffic on Military Rd. To quantify the benefits of reduced congestion the Government is estimating the trip for Mosman to Sydney Airport to be reduced from 48 minutes to 30 minutes, representing an improvement of 38%.
Spit West Construction Site
Further details on the construction site arrangements at Spit West Reserve were contained in the reports with the government proposing a floating construction site in the waters off the reserve to minimise impact and to allow for the delivery of materials via road and water. The proposed construction site will require the temporary relocation of some swing moorings.
More details on the tunnels can be accessed on the RMS website.