Beaches Link tunnel
Preferred bidder announced
Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.
The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.
The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.
The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).
Preferred bidder announced
A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.
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Construction projects: > AUD$300m
Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m
All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million
The Beaches Link project is a proposed tunnel linking the Northern Beaches to the Warringah Freeway and south across the harbour through the Western Harbour Tunnel to Westconnex.
The 2016-17 NSW Budget allocated $17.6 million for planning for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link.
The option for a Beaches Link (previously referred to as the Northern Beaches Motorway Tunnel) was explored as part of the Northern Beaches Transport Action Plan. $5 million from Restart NSW was committed for strategic and feasibility studies, which evaluated a number of potential routes, including a southern route under Mosman as well as a northern route under Middle Harbour and Northbridge
In March 2017 the NSW Government announced the preferred corridor - the northern route - and the start of the market sounding process for both the Beaches Link tunnel and the Western Harbour Tunnel, and an upgrade to the Warringah Freeway. Contract configuration and scale for these projects is yet to be determined.
Market sounding is likely to test the private sector’s appetite for revenue risk and tolling, and investigate if a lease of existing north south harbour crossings could minimise the financial burden on the State. It is also likely the packages of work will be tendered under a traditional Public Private Partnership model with private finance.
The NSW Government committed $77 million towards geotechnical investigations for the projects which started in April 2017 and involve the drilling of 235 boreholes across the combined route of the projects. Coffey and AECOM are conducting the investigations.
The 2017-18 NSW Budget allocated $103 million towards planning works for Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link projects.
In November 2017, a State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) application was lodged to identify topics that must be assessed in any future Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The 2018-19 NSW Budget allocated $556.2 million over the forward estimates towards planning and early works for the Beaches Link and Western Harbour Tunnel projects.
In the July 2018 Project update, the NSW Government announced that both the Western Harbour Tunnel and the Beaches Link would be tolled, along with indicating the Western Harbour Tunnel contract would include the Warringah Freeway Upgrade.
Detailed Designs in the Project Update indicate Beaches Link will include over 11 kilometres of tunnels as well as around five kilometres of surface road upgrades. The main tunnel between Cammeray, connecting to the Western Harbour Tunnel, and Balgowlah will be three lanes each way, with connections to Wakehurst Parkway and Gore Hill Freeway two lanes each way. The preferred method for constructing the tunnels involves using multiple road header machines, with the section under Middle Harbour to use immersed tube tunnels.
Three kilometres of Wakehurst Parkway to the Northern Beaches Hospital will be upgraded along with further surface works to integrate the tunnels with the existing road network.
Subject to planning approvals and finalisation of financing and procurement arrangements, the NSW Government expects construction of both the Beaches Link and Western Harbour Tunnel to start in 2020, with both tunnels open to traffic by 2026.
Early works are expected to start in 2018 around the Warringah Freeway and Rozelle Interchange.
The NSW Government will conduct community engagement on the detailed designs until November 2018 after which the EIS will be prepared. The EIS will include detailed location of tunnels, portals, ventilation facilities and construction sites along with detailed assessment of proposed construction and operation activities, including cumulative impacts.
Infrastructure Australia lists the project as a Priority Initiative in its Infrastructure Priority List with a long term delivery timescale (10-15 years).
Last reviewed: 27/07/2018