Urban Taskforce CEO, Tom Forrest said today that the Western Harbour Tunnel, linking Victoria Rd and the new West Connex with the Gore Hill and Warringah expressways, is the missing link in Sydney’s motorway system.
Mr Forrest said that today’s announcement of the completion of the public exhibition and the planning approval of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this transformative project is very welcome and is strongly supported by the property development and construction sector.
“This project is the missing link in Sydney’s motorway system. With all the recent upgrades coming close to completion, the one bottleneck preventing the realisation of an efficient road system was the congestion on the Anzac Bridge, Bradfield expressway and the Sydney Harbour Bridge”, Mr Forrest said.
The Berejiklian Government has copped a lot of abuse from tin-foil-hat wearing keyboard warrior NIMBYs from Haberfield, Lilyfield, Rozelle, Balmain and Cammeray.
While some of the property acquisitions early on were clumsy, the West Connex has been a fantastic success.
“The great irony is that most of those who oppose this link are those who will benefit most. Residents of Lilyfield, Rozelle and Balmain will have bus or car journey times to the CBD slashed with this new tunnel project. The Anzac Bridge car-park will flow for the first time since it was opened in 1995.
“This project will improve the amenity of the Bay area and open the door for its revitalisation. Perhaps even the White Bay Power station and surrounds might be adaptively re-developed (with sympathy shown for the architectural heritage of the site, of course).
The dual focus of the Coalition has been on developing, delivering and funding massive infrastructure improvements to support the growth of Sydney and connect those in Sydney west with the Airport, the CBD and now the North Shore and Northern Beaches.
“Getting cars that are not undertaking local trips off the surface streets and into tunnels is critical to improving the standard of living for Sydney’s growing population. The biggest constraint on development is the capacity of the road and public transport network. The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches link will achieve both”, Mr Forrest said,
Mr Forrest said that the proposed tollway was a sustainable option.
“Paying for this new motorway link through tolls is an environmentally sound solution. Tax-payer funds are left to fund public transport, schools and hospitals, public open space and community amenity – all of which is critical to community support for the changes in the shape and character of our suburbs as Sydney’s population grows.
See a map of the new proposed Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link program overleaf.