Construction starts this year on new Sydney Metro tunnels
“The scale of this project will rival any megaproject across the globe”
Construction starts this year on new Sydney Metro tunnels which will run under Sydney Harbour and the CBD, with the green light now given for the project to proceed.
New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance welcomed planning approval for the second stage of Sydney Metro, which starts at Chatswood and travels beneath Sydney Harbour, through the CBD to Sydenham and on to Bankstown.
The approval is for the Chatswood to Sydenham section of the project.
“The scale of this project will rival any megaproject across the globe, and today marks the start of even more grunt work,” Constance says.
“This is an unprecedented boost to rail capacity for our great city.”
Construction sites will be established in Sydney’s CBD this year.
By the end of 2018, the first of five tunnel boring machines will be in the ground carving out new twin tunnels.
Sydney Metro will have ultimate capacity of a new metro train every two minutes in each direction under the Sydney CBD and 31 metro stations from Rouse Hill to Bankstown – a 66km new railway for tomorrow’s Sydney.
NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes says the go-ahead for the project ensured Sydney is being prepared for the future.
“This project has been approved and subjected to some of the highest sustainability provisions in the world.”
Among the conditions imposed with the approval is that greenhouse emissions by electricity consumed by the operation must be fully offset.
Two consortia are competing to build the new twin tunnels, with the contract expected to be awarded around the middle of this year.
More than 300 submissions were received during six weeks of public consultation last year on the environmental impact statement for the Chatswood to Sydenham section.
Public feedback has helped refine the delivery of Sydney Metro, with local input driving changes that include using barges on Sydney Harbour to move tunnelboring machine parts from the north of the harbour, and to take crushed rock from the Barangaroo Station site, reducing impacts on roads and traffic.
A future underground pedestrian link from Martin Place Station to O’Connell Street will be safeguarded, further improving pedestrian access, and any rock-breaking work that uses heavy construction equipment will only take place during standard construction hours – with the exception of Central Station. This will significantly reduce potential noise impacts for the community.
The planning process for the conversion and upgrade of the Bankstown line to Metro standards will start this year.
Below: The new rail line underneath Sydney harbour will make public transport more efficient