Engagement to date
We recognise a project of this scale will have an unavoidable impact on local communities. This is why we have completed one of the most extensive engagement programs for a motorway project ahead of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) exhibition period.
Since the release of the preferred route and concept design in 2017, we have engaged with thousands of you who live and work in and around our project area. We have listened to better understand your concerns and have incorporated your feedback and suggestions into our design where possible.
Our commitment to you is we will continue to actively engage with you to hear your feedback on this city shaping project.
Our engagement program for Beaches Link and the Gore Hill Freeway Connection included companion project the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade. We prepared a separate EIS for Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade, which assessed any temporary and permanent impacts. This EIS was placed on public exhibition from 29 January to 30 March 2020.
In 2018, we carried out a wide range of consultation and engagement activities to help refine our design based on community feedback and we worked to reduce community impact where possible.
What you told us
2018 Proposed Reference design
Your feedback on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link Proposed Reference design 2018 focused on the following topics:
- air quality
- impacts on local traffic
- open space impacts
- noise and vibration
- public transport
- location of ventilation facilities
- flora and fauna
- road safety
- construction site impacts
- spoil transport.
How we have addressed your feedback
We thank you for the feedback. It has helped us make a number of positive improvements to the project. These include:
Improving access to Beaches Link and the new and improved open space and recreation facilities
We have worked with the community on a number of alternatives to connect Beaches Link with Sydney Road, provide access for users of the new and improved public open space and recreation facilities at Balgowlah, and deliver a solution that provides the best outcome for the community. As a result, we have redesigned the permanent access road to reduce its length, area, and impacts.
Maximising usable community space in the final layout at Balgowlah
We have redesigned the connection at Balgowlah to return an area equivalent to around 90 per cent of the current open space at Balgowlah to the community as a new and improved open space and recreation facilities. The final layout will be determined based on community input as part of a dedicated consultation process.
Reducing impacts on Burnt Bridge Creek
The proposed tunnel portal location at Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation has been shifted further to the south. This enables us to reduce traffic staging works on Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation, reduce our impacts on Burnt Bridge Creek and eliminate the need to replace the existing Kitchener Street Bridge.
Moving the tunnel connection to the Wakehurst Parkway further north to reduce impacts to the surrounding community
The tunnel entry and exit ramps at Killarney Heights have been moved about 450 metres further north along Wakehurst Parkway. This will reduce construction and operational impacts for the surrounding community as well providing an improved tunnel connection to Wakehurst Parkway.
Reducing impacts of the Wakehurst Parkway construction support site on the surrounding community
Using the Sydney Water land north of Kirkwood Street as a temporary construction site minimises impacts to residents and Seaforth Oval. After construction, the section of this site not required for Sydney Water operations will be incorporated into the Manly Dam Reserve for the community to enjoy.
Maximising distance between construction activities and community facilities at Willoughby and Northbridge
Using the eastern side of Flat Rock Drive as a temporary construction site provides a greater distance between the site and the Willoughby Leisure Centre indoor facilities, netball courts and car park, and avoids impacts to the baseball diamond. Construction vehicles will have direct access to and from the site via Flat Rock Drive. At completion, there will be further opportunities to provide new recreation facilities or reinstate the site to bushland.
Managing community concerns
We know building a project of this scale and significance does not go without impact.
We will have a community contact system in place during construction and will ensure there is a number of ways you can contact us and raise concerns or make enquiries at any time.
We will also be working closely with teams from nearby construction projects to help minimise construction and consultation fatigue in your local area.
What happens next
The Environmental Impact Statement exhibition period has now concluded. We would like to thank everyone who attended our virtual information sessions, explored our digital portal, emailed or spoke to us or posted submissions on the project. Your input has been invaluable.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has now collated all the submissions made and published them on the Major Projects website and provided them to Transport for NSW requesting the preparation of a Submissions Report.
Transport for NSW is currently preparing the Submissions Report to respond to the issues raised. Transport for NSW will lodge the Submissions Report with DPIE to help inform the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces’ decision on the project. The Submissions Report will be published on the DPIE Major Projects website.
If the project is approved it will be constructed and operated in accordance with the EIS, Submissions Report and the Minister’s Conditions of Approval.
The plans proposed in the EIS may evolve depending on several factors, including community feedback and the construction methodologies developed by the contractor/s once appointed. If a change to the project which is not consistent with the planning approval is proposed, an application will be made to the Minister to modify the approval.