The General Holmes Drive level crossing prevents the Port Botany rail freight line from operating to its potential capacity. Road network congestion is also occurring in the vicinity of the level crossing, Sydney Airport’s Domestic Terminals T2 and T3 and on General Holmes Drive / Joyce Drive, a designated primary road freight route to Port Botany.
This project is one component of the WestConnex Enabling Works, a three part program of works in the immediate vicinity of Sydney Airport designed to improve traffic flow and access to Sydney Airport and Port Botany.
This project consists of the removal of the General Holmes Drive rail level crossing and the construction of twin rail bridges and a road underpass linking General Holmes Drive, Botany Road and Wentworth Avenue.
The project scope includes upgrades to the surrounding roads and intersections and improvements to pedestrian and cycle networks.
When completed, the project is expected to:
- reduce road congestion and improve travel times around Sydney Airport and Port Botany;
- increase the capacity of the Port Botany rail line and enable future duplication of the rail line through provision of a second rail bridge;
- improve safety through the elimination of the General Holmes Drive level crossing and through road and intersection improvements;
- improve the cyclist network by an extension towards the Sydney Airport precinct;
- expand the safe pedestrian network and eliminate unsafe informal routes in the General Holmes Drive – Joyce Drive – Sydney Airport domestic terminals locality;
- support the delivery of the WestConnex project;
- enable future duplication of the Port Botany rail line by providing twin rail bridges; and
- support improvements being made by Sydney Airport Corporation Limited to road access to terminals T2 and T3.
The Australian Government is providing $40 million to the $156 million Airport East project, part of the $282 million for road projects around Sydney Airport announced by the NSW Minister for Roads in June 2014. Australian Government funding is specifically allocated to the removal of the level crossing and construction of a road underpass and twin rail bridges.
The Review of Environmental Factors was displayed for community comment in early 2015. Following this a Submissions Report was prepared and planning approval was obtained for the project.
Major works are expected to commence in early 2017.