Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian today said early construction of the North West Rail Link would be ramping up after planning approval was received for the project’s second Environmental Impact Statement.
Construction activity will be seen right along the length of the rail line in coming months as preparations are made for the first of the tunnel boring machines to be in the ground next year, Ms Berejiklian said.
“This is a monumental day for this state – our focus now turns to building the North West Rail Link and delivering this critical piece of new public transport infrastructure to an area that has been crying out for it for too long,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’re on track to have the first tunnel boring machine in the ground next year, as scheduled, with the billion-dollar tunnelling contract to be awarded in coming months.
“So far, 27 major tenders have been released and 46 key contracts awarded on the North West Rail Link.
“The community will start to see an increase in construction activity over the coming months as we prepare for major construction to get underway.
“I want to thank people in advance for their patience as we start building this massive public transport project.”
The North West Rail Link project will keep the community informed, but residents should be prepared for possible delays and changes to road conditions, she said.
Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard said he has approved the project’s second EIS, which was put on public exhibition late last year and received more than 300 public submissions.
“I want to thank the community for having their say and taking the opportunity to help shape this project, which will change the face of the North West for generations to come,” Mr Hazzard said.
“At every step of the way, we have worked with the community and taken on board your feedback – your suggestions have made a real difference to this project.”
Following community feedback to the second EIS, the project will now include:
A review of proposed bus access to and around the new Cherrybrook Station;
Realigning the design of Bella Vista Station, resulting in a second entry to the station and improved pedestrian and bus access; and
Improvements to Old Windsor Road, including widening Balmoral Road, Kellyville, to two lanes each way, and moving it 30 metres north to line up with Miami Street.
The Department of Planning and Infrastructure has also set conditions of approval to ensure potential impacts during construction and operation of the North West Rail Link are managed within acceptable levels, including potential environmental, noise and traffic impacts.
The second Environmental Impact Statement focused on:
Design and operation of the eight new railway stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road;
Transport interchanges and commuter parking for 4,000 cars; and
How the rapid transit rail link operates, including rail infrastructure and the new generation single deck trains announced as part of Sydney’s Rail Future.
The first EIS was approved in September last year, giving the planning green light to build the 15km of tunnels, station excavations and starting work on the 4km skytrain section.