April 11, 2017 / News
In light of the growing population and its increasingly sprawled nature, there is mounting pressure for the infrastructure to adequately accommodate all their transportation needs. One initiative that is currently underway to help relieve this strain, is the WestConnex project. WestConnex is a 33 km long motorway that is set to connect the M4 and M5 motorways, allowing those living in the West to have quicker and more direct access to the city, Port Botany and Sydney Airport. WestConnex is Australia's largest road infrastructure project to date, with a projected cost of approximately $16.8 billion. It has been dubbed the 'missing link' in Sydney's motorway network. The WestConnex motorway is expected to be completed by 2023.
The Westconnex project has become a divisive topic, attracting both positive and negative reactions to its construction.
Proponents of the WestConnex motorway, say that it will aid in easing Sydney's congestion, as it increases road capacity, bypasses approximately 52 sets of traffic lights, and reduces instances of bottlenecking. This will help to improve the speed and reliability of the commute for Western Sydney-siders traveling to and from the city.
Another benefit of WestConnex, is that it returns local roads to local communities, by diverting traffic, in particular heavy vehicles, to the underground motorway. Helping local roads to be safer and less crowded.
Also, the scale of the investment into the construction of WestConnex has helped to stimulate the economy, as well as the construction industry, and create approximately 10,000 local jobs (both directly and indirectly).
Another benefit of WestConnex is that it possesses future potential for easing congestion, with a proposed western Harbour tunnel and beaches link.
While, opposition to the WestConnex argue that its construction will damage local communities and the environment, with the required acquisition of approximately 200 homes in the inner-west and a significant portion of Sydney Park.
The WestConnex project also has the potential to cause even more traffic on alternative routes, as its tolls may discourage people from using the new motorway and cause thousands of drivers to opt for Parramatta Road and Victoria Road, which are free to use.
Furthermore, the construction of WestConnex has been criticised for encouraging residents of Western Sydney to take to the roads, instead of opting for public transport.
The WestConnex project is well underway with construction sites littered throughout the Sydney area. It is clear that the WestConnex motorway is part of the government's plan to expand upon Sydney's existing infrastructure and prepare for future population growth, as it improves traffic flow, disperses congestion and enables easier access to the city for those living in the West. However only time will tell whether or not the benefits of the WestConnex will outweigh its associated costs.
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