Monday, June 24, 2024

Next stage of Western Harbour Tunnel works dig in

A 100-tonne roadheader has begun cutting through Sydney sandstone this morning, marking the start of tunnelling on the second stage of the Western Harbour Tunnel.

Weighing as much as 27 adult elephants, the roadheader has commenced its journey from Cammeray excavating south towards the Warringah Freeway and onwards towards the harbour at Waverton.

“The start of tunnelling at Cammeray is a major milestone for this project, bringing motorists a step closer to benefiting from Sydney’s third harbour crossing,” said NSW Minister for Roads, John Graham.

“The new Western Harbour Tunnel will provide time-saving benefits not only for those connecting to the Rozelle Interchange, but for motorists across Sydney’s wider road network.

“Once completed, the Western Harbour Tunnel is a critical part of the NSW Government’s plan to bring traffic relief to arterial roads in the Inner West, where we know that we will have traffic issues along the Western Distributor and Victoria Road.”

The roadheader will cut through 1,000 tonnes of rock a day, excavating a distance of 20 to 25 metres per week before a tunnel boring machine takes over to tunnel under the harbour.

NSW Roads Minister, John Graham joins project workers to welcome the start of Stage 2 tunnelling.

Over the course of construction of stage 2 of the Western Harbour Tunnel, 10 roadheaders will be used.

The tunnel’s twin 3-lane motorways are expected to reduce traffic on the Western Distributor by 35%, the harbour tunnel by 20% and the harbour bridge by 17%.

Stage 1, which is already underway, involves creating the 1.7km southern section of the tunnel from Rozelle to Birchgrove and is expected to be complete in 2025.

Stage 2 includes construction of the northern end of the tunnel, connections to the Warringah Freeway, tunnelling underneath Sydney Harbour and the complete tunnel fit out and is expected to take approximately 5 years.

“This is a milestone for the Western Harbour Tunnel project,” said NSW Premier, Chris Minns.

“Building this road, we will help ease congestion for drivers who use the harbour bridge, harbour tunnel, Anzac Bridge or Western Distributor. We’ll be keeping this important road in public hands.”

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