The New South Wales Government’s proposal for a second Sydney Harbour tunnel has been added to the Infrastructure Priority List.
Infrastructure Australia has added the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade to the Infrastructure Priority List as a Priority Project.
The proposal will include the construction of a 6.5-kilometre twin three-lane motorway from the Rozelle Interchange to the Warringah Freeway near North Sydney. It also includes an upgrade of the Warringah Freeway between the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Willoughby Road.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Tunnel are critical transport links – carrying more than 250,000 vehicles each weekday. By 2031, this is expected to increase to 300,000 as Sydney’s population grows.
“Without an additional harbour crossing, we expect there to be additional traffic and delays around the Sydney CBD. Apart from impacting community access to school, work and other essential services, our 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that if not addressed, congestion on this part of the road network could cost the NSW economy more than $780,000 per day by 2031,” Madew said.
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“The business case developed by the NSW Government demonstrates a wide range of benefits for both drivers and public transport users, including significant travel time savings and improvements in travel time reliability.
“By adding the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade to the Priority List, Infrastructure Australia is highlighting the strong community and economic benefits of this proposal and putting it forward as a nationally significant investment opportunity for government to consider.”
To ensure the Priority List provides clear and easy to understand advice, Infrastructure Australia has recently implemented some enhancements.
From April 2021, only proposals that are yet to receive funding from the Australian Government are considered for inclusion on the Priority List. This change is designed to ensure that the Priority List provides a clearly defined pipeline of investment-ready proposals.
Infrastructure Australia will continue to review business cases where a funding commitment of $250 million or more has been made by the Australian Government.