Urgent construction will begin this week on Sydney’s City West Link to open a new lane at the Rozelle Interchange.
A second lane will be established for general traffic where the current one lane merges with the new Crescent Overpass before the Anzac Bridge.
The new multibillion-dollar tunnel, intended to reduce travel times between the city’s west and the CBD, has instead caused commute times to blow out by more than an hour.
The state government was forced to change signage last week after motorists became confused as to whether there was a toll fee.
Cars were backed up for kilometres ahead of the “spaghetti junction” at the West Connex interchange in the inner west on Monday, November 27, with drivers believing there was a toll for the tunnel from the Iron Cove Bridge to Anzac Bridge.
The interchange, which opened the night before, is free for all commuters to use.
It’s expected that construction on the new lane will be finished by Saturday, December 9, while Transport for NSW will investigate the possibility of adding a further lane on Victoria Rd in the area before it merges into one lane to join the Anzac Bridge.
Operational changes to the Western Distributor, designed to aid with traffic flow as motorists cross the Anzac Bridge, will also continue.
Roads Minister John Graham called an urgent meeting of senior transport executives on Sunday to discuss the interchange issues.
“We must be vigilant that we do not simply shift the problem up the road in what is a constrained traffic environment since the opening of the new Rozelle Interchange,” he said.
“Work will begin at night and Transport has already done a lot of work to effectively redesign the road.
“I want to thank motorists again for their patience as we try to make the right changes to the system as it settles.”
The extra lane, decided on at the Sunday meeting, will stretch more than 400m at the major “pinch point” where the City West Link merges with the new Crescent Overpass.
Earlier that day, the Premier said decisions must consider possible “unintended consequences” when made under pressure.
“I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the previous government where they promised a smooth running for millions of people into the city, the road opens, and we get the exact opposite,” Chris Minns said.
The $3.9bn junction was designed to reduce traffic on Victoria Rd by up to 50 per cent and was hailed by the former state government as a “game changer”.