Sun. May 26th, 2024

The incredible new £16bn tunnel that’s 15 miles long under one of world’s prettiest cities

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May24,2024

An incredible new underground tunnel in one of the world’s most beautiful and populated cities has completely transformed its transport network.

Sydney‘s infrastructure underwent a transformative shift with the opening of the final phase of Westconnex last November, a mammoth underground road network stretching 15 miles beneath the city’s picturesque landscape.

After nearly a decade of construction, Westconnex promised to revolutionise commuting in Sydney.

Drivers can now traverse from the Blue Mountains to the Sydney Harbour Bridge without encountering a single traffic light, significantly slashing travel times for residents from the western suburbs on their journeys to the central business district.

Yet, the road to completion has been marred by controversy and challenges. Residents endured years of disruptions, including noise, roadworks, and heritage home demolitions, while protests underscored the project’s contentious nature.

The tolls imposed on drivers may also represent a significant financial burden for those using the new infrastructure. The centrepiece of Westconnex, the Rozelle Interchange, is a marvel of engineering buried deep beneath Sydney’s inner west side.

Connecting various key routes, including the M4-M8 Link and the Anzac Bridge, this intricate network of tunnels symbolises one of the world’s most complex underground road projects.

Originally estimated to cost £8bn, the project’s price tag has skyrocketed to over £16bn, according to a report by the NSW auditor general.

Funding from federal and state governments has been instrumental throughout the project’s lifecycle, with the tolling concession now owned by a private consortium, including tolling giant Transurban.

This ownership structure ensures that Westconnex will remain a paid road until 2060, with toll rates set to increase annually.

While Westconnex was envisioned as a solution to various transportation challenges and a catalyst for urban renewal, its impact on Sydney’s landscape and communities remains a topic of debate.

Despite its achievements in streamlining traffic flow, questions persist regarding its long-term efficacy and the fulfilment of promises, such as the revitalisation of Parramatta Road.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “The incredible new £16bn tunnel that’s 15 miles long under one of world’s prettiest cities”
  1. Was the increase in the project’s cost anticipated from the beginning or were there unforeseen challenges that caused the price to double?

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