Traf­fic chaos for trav­ellers as air­port road­works cause grid­lock

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JACK MORPHET BRENDEN HILLS

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.

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