Dozens of homes in some of Australia's richest suburbs will need to make way for Sydney's giant new beaches tunnel

Residents in some of the richest suburbs in Australia’s wealthiest city might sleep a little less easily than usual this evening.

The NSW state government today confirmed plans to build a giant tunnel connecting the northern beaches of Sydney with the city, alleviating some of the city’s worst bottlenecks and slashing travel times to densely populated areas.

The Beaches Link tunnel will require years of work and the compulsory acquisition of dozens of homes in various suburbs which are among the most expensive places to buy in the city.

The government said it had begun contacting people in the leafy north shore suburbs of Artarmon, Cammeray, Balgowlah and Seaforth and currently has 71 properties earmarked as being affected, although this is likely to change over time as the plans are refined.

Here’s the route:

Cammeray is a highly desirable suburb and has a median house price of $1.8 million for a three-bedroom house, according to Domain. For a four-bed home, that rises to $3.1 million. Artarmon, Balgowlah and Seaforth also have median house prices for three-bedroom homes between is $1.6 million and $1.8 million.

“The NSW Government is committed to delivering this important project which will reduce congestion along the gridlocked Spit and Military Roads and provide a Sydney Harbour and Anzac Bridge bypass for Western and Southern Sydney motorists,” state premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Roads and Maritime Services, the lead government agency for the project, “has today started speaking to residents and businesses in areas around the expected tunnel portals in Artarmon, Cammeray, Seaforth, and Balgowlah. RMS will ensure that people who may be impacted are kept updated and engaged around development of the project,” the premier said.

“While it is too early to confirm exact property acquisition details until the final reference design is complete, 71 properties may be directly impacted. RMS expects further notifications as the project progresses.”

There’s an initial $77 million spend for geotechnical work along the route, which will start next month. The premier said the government had “commenced a market sounding process involving the private sector to investigate funding options and delivery approaches”.

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