Traffic chaos for travellers as airport roadworks cause gridlock
FRUSTRATED travellers spent more than 30 minutes stuck in taxis and almost $ 30 in fares just getting from the Sydney domestic terminal cab rank to the airport precinct’s entrance on General Holmes Drive as roadworks caused gridlock around Mascot yesterday.
More traffic snarls are expected today because the roadworks are scheduled all weekend. The gridlock came a day after a technical issue on Friday morning sent the airport’s T1 international and T2 domestic terminals into meltdown, leaving thousands of angry passengers stranded for an average of an hour.
Police were brought in to direct traffic around Mascot from 10.40am because of the Airport East project, where the government and Sydney Airport are rebuilding the intersection of O’Riordan St, Sir Reginald Ansett Dr and Joyce Dr. The changes to the intersection are meant to improve the area’s notoriously choked traffic.
While the changes are to the domestic terminal road system, traffic to and from the international terminal is also being affected.
Melbourne journalist Matthew Stevens said the meter on his 4pm taxi ride from the domestic airport hit $27 while still in bumper-to-bumper traffic inside the airport precinct. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mr Stevens said. “Normally getting out of Sydney Airport is so much better than Melbourne but not today — it was deadly.”
Sydney scientist Dr Martin Rees, who was flying to Melbourne for an international flight, just made it to the check-in desk on time, despite leaving an extra hour to drive from the inner west. “It took 20 minutes to drive the last few hundred metres to the airport, so I’d imagine plenty of people missed flights,” Dr Rees said.
Travellers using the domestic ter- minal today are advised to allow extra time to get to the airport.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said southbound lanes on O’Riordan St would be closed from Robey St to Joyce Dr.
“The General Holmes Dr level rail crossing is being removed and a road overpass is being constructed to replace it,” he said.
The intersection of O’Riordan St, Sir Reginald Ansett Dr and Joyce Dr was also being rebuilt.