Sydney tunnels' $14b price tag revealed

Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 04:18:58 AM. New underground tunnels linking Rozelle to the northern beaches will cost almost $14 billion to build, according to confidential NSW Cabinet documents, a major blowout from the original estimates of $7.5 billion.
Photo: The underground road will cost about $1 billion per kilometre, according to Cabinet documents. (ABC News: Luke Rosen) New underground tunnels linking Rozelle to the northern beaches will cost almost $14 billion to build, according to confidential New South Wales Cabinet documents, a major blowout from the original estimates of $7.5 billion. Previous spending estimates were for the two undersea tunnels, with $4.5 billion for the Western Harbour Tunnel, and $3 billion for the Middle Harbour crossing near Seaforth. The official costing — seen by the ABC and Fairfax — is made up of construction spending of almost $14 billion, combined with operations and maintenance expenses of $8 billion over a 35-year period. That means the new 14-kilometre underground road will cost $1 billion per kilometre to build funded by taxpayers and tolls on drivers. The figures are contained in a "final business case", greenlighted late last year by the State Government. A $77-million program on geotechnical work, and community information sessions on the final route are underway. Yesterday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian downplayed community concern over smokestack locations to ventilate the tunnels, saying they "had not been finalised". A spokesperson for Roads Minister Melissa Pavey said the Government was still doing "its homework" on the project to ensure "the best deal for taxpayers". The spokesperson said the final costs and user tolls were not yet determined. Further social and...Read more
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