An unusual plan of a walkway from the Sydney Opera House to Parramatta has been revealed.
The Sydney Opera House and Parramatta Park will be combined in an ambitious new waterfront project.
The state government announced on Friday that it will invest $60 million from the state budget next week to build a 91km continuous track along Sydney Harbor and the Parramatta River.
This comes after the McKell Institute pitched the idea to the state government in 2020 as part of a 21-page report, with then-CEO Sam Crosby saying that Sydney’s unique geography is “often underused”.
NSW Treasurer Matt Keane said the road would improve the lives of tens of thousands of people from across the city.
“This path will open up some of our most impressive sights and unlock the incredible lifestyle and accessibility opportunities the route offers for locals and visitors,” he said.
The $60 million funding will support the next phases of the project, which will include projects for the initial phases of the project, solutions for the remaining inaccessible onshore sites, and advisory work with councils.
A 2020 McKell Institute report suggests that the estimated cost of the construction phase could cost taxpayers between $200 million and $300 million, with funding coming from local and state governments.
But it is expected that the final construction costs will be less than this amount.
The report also acknowledges that the project could be “complicated” by private residences along the proposed 10-kilometer coastal loop around Canada Bay.
At the time of writing, there were 75 homes in this construction section with private waterfront access, meaning they would need to be negotiated to unlock this part of the waterfront.
The McKell Institute said the path would help Sydney recover from the effects of Covid once again.
“Covid has challenged New South Wales. But policy makers should see the need to stimulate and rebuild the state’s economy as an opportunity to reimagine what metropolitan Sydney can look like, what it can bring to its residents, and how it is perceived on the global stage,” the report says.
“This project can help revive Sydney’s economy by creating immediate opportunities for local workers, help build productivity-enhancing infrastructure that will improve the health of Sydney residents over the long term, and provide a new attraction and experience for tourists.”
The route will be one of the longest walking and cycling routes in Sydney and will pass through 18 suburbs.
Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Minister Rob Stokes hopes this will encourage more people to be active when they are away from home.
“Since 1811, our city has benefited from road and rail links between Sydney and Parramatta,” he said.
“This new connection will increase walking and cycling, making life easier, healthier and more enjoyable for locals, commuters and visitors for ages.”
The three-year construction process will create between 1,039 and 1,671 jobs, according to a McKell Institute report.