The Department for Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) has approved the Modification to the Western Harbour Tunnel project. This decision is a significant step towards enhancing road connections in and around Sydney’s CBD, with a clear commitment to minimising disruption for the community and the environment during construction.
We consulted communities across the lower north shore, inner west and Emu Plains about the Modification in July and August 2023, and we will continue to engage with these communities as we work to deliver the Western Harbour Tunnel.
About the Modification
The Modification Report was submitted in July 2023, proposing to amend the Western Harbour Tunnel project granted planning approval in January 2021.
The approved Modification means that we are changing the construction methodology for tunnelling under the Sydney Harbour between Birchgrove and Waverton from an Immersed Tube Tunnel to using Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs). This change will reduce construction impacts on the community and environment by:
not dredging in Sydney Harbour
reducing the overall number of construction support sites by removing the need for construction support sites at Yurulbin Point, Berrys Bay, White Bay North and Victoria Road
removing the need for cofferdams in Sydney Harbour at Birchgrove and Balls Head
removing impacts to Birchgrove Ferry Wharf and ferry services
reducing impacts to ferries and boats on Sydney Harbour.
Approval of the Modification also means there will be a new construction support site at Emu Plains and changes to our existing support sites at the City West Link Portal, Glebe Island and Ridge Street, North Sydney.
All other construction activities and elements of the approved project not included in the Modification Report will continue to proceed as planned.
As with any major infrastructure project of this scale, the approved changes are subject to the Minister’s Conditions of Approval. You can learn more about these conditions and view the full Modification Report here on the Department for Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI)'s Major Projects portal.
Click here to view the project’s original Environmental Impact Statement and Minister’s Conditions of Approval.