Construction starts this year on new Sydney Metro tunnels which will run under Sydney Harbour and the CBD with the green light given for the project to proceed.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance welcomed planning approval for stage 2 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,” Mr Constance said.
“This is an unprecedented boost to rail capacity for our great city.”
Construction sites will be established in the Sydney 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.
Planning approval includes:
- Delivering 16.5km of new metro rail between Chatswood and Sydenham, including 15.5km of new twin railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour and the Sydney CBD
- Seven new metro railway stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney), Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt St, Central (new underground platforms), and Waterloo
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the go-ahead for the project ensured Sydney is being prepared for the future.
“This project has been approved subject to some of the highest sustainability provisions in the world,” Mr Stokes said.
Among the conditions imposed with the approval is that greenhouse emissions by electricity consumed by the metro’s 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 tunnel boring 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.
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