A 14-kilometre tunnel tollway linking Sydney’s northern beaches to the city could cost the same amount as Australia’s largest road project, it’s been revealed.
The proposed Western Harbour Tunnel connecting Rozelle in the inner west to North Sydney and the Beaches Link from Warringah to Balgowlah comes with a $14 billion price tag, according to confidential documents leaked to the media on Tuesday.
The hefty price tag is only $2.8 billion less than the NSW government’s WestConnex project, which will deliver 33 kilometres of motorway.
The government insists taxpayers will get the best deal but says it’s too early to determine a final price for the project.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link is part of Sydney’s transport plan and is going through a design process to ensure we get the best deal for taxpayers,” a spokeswoman for the roads minister told said on Tuesday.
“It is too early to determine a final price.”
It’s expected the tunnel project will cut travel times for commuters driving from northern Sydney to the CBD by up to 40 minutes, while those driving from Dee Why to the airport could save up to 45 minutes.
“The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link motorways would be the biggest change on the northern beaches since the Spit Bridge opened in the 1920s,” Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive Brendan Lyon said in a statement on Tuesday.