NSW awards contract for Sydney Western Harbour Tunnel

20 January 2022

Construction of Sydney’s Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT) will begin within months, following the award of a US$522m contract for the first stage of tunnelling, announced the New South Wales government.

NSW awarded the contract to the JV comprising John Holland and CPB Contractors to build around 1.7km of tunnels as part of the project’s Southern Tunnelling Works from Rozelle to Birchgrove. This involves excavation and lining of the WHT driven tunnels, including ventilation tunnels, between the stubs provided by the Rozelle Interchange and Birchgrove Oval. The enabling works will facilitate the efficient construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel and its seamless integration into the Sydney motorway network.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said: “This is a critical milestone which will support hundreds of jobs and ensure significant benefits for drivers, including improved travel times and reduced congestion.”

He added that the tunnel would ‘revolutionise’ travel around Sydney, relieving pressure off other major roads including Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor.

The Western Harbour Tunnel will link WestConnex at Rozelle with the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney via 6.5km tunnels under Sydney Harbour, with three lanes in each direction.

Natalie Ward, Minister for Metropolitan Roads said the new tunnel was part of a major infrastructure boost to expand the area’s motorways and serve a growing Sydney.

The project is expected to drastically reduce travel times, such as an estimated saving of up to 20 minutes on a journey from Sydney Olympic Park to North Sydney. It is also estimated to reduce traffic on major arteries: 35% less on the Western Distributor, 20% less on the Harbour Tunnel and 17% less on the Harbour Bridge.

Early works, including geotechnical investigations and detailed tunnel design will begin in January 2022, with major construction expected to begin in mid-2022.

John Holland and CPB are currently delivering the Rozelle interchange as part of WestConnex, with the new Western Harbour Tunnel contract ensuring a seamless continuation of tunnelling work already underway.