The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Summary covering the Chatswood area is now available. It raises a number of questions and the opportunity for comments. We are seeking feedback on these issues from West Ward residents.
WHAT IS THE SYDNEY METRO SOUTHWEST?
The new METROs (NORTH & SOUTH WEST) are (for Sydney) a new form of transport. Metros are driverless trains operating every few minutes. Existing TransportNSW rail lines need to be modified to allow Metros to operate. This means that standard rolling stock can longer use these line (including from Chatswood to Epping).
Metro trains will arrive at Chatswood Station from Epping (and beyond) and then continue toward the city via a ‘dive site’ into a tunnel with new stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney), Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street, Central on to the southwest.
The issues are presented in the order of the EIS. The order does not imply relevance or seriousness.
DO WE NEED A METRO?
The EIS assumes that the Metro is a fait accompli (and it probably is). However, the opportunity exists to comment generally on this issue.
INTEGRATING THE METRO IN SYDNEY’S TRANSPORT NETWORK
For many years, Sydney’s transport network consisted predominately of heavy rail trains and buses. Even then, achieving effective interchanges between the two modes was difficult. Now, in addition, we have the Sydney Light Rail and the new Metro network. This increases the complexity of interchanges.
We will advocate that intense consideration be given to minimize time taken at interchanges.
The EIS proposes development above the new stations. However, Chatswood is not mentioned. Since such development is subject to a separate planning approval process, this does not preclude future over station/line development within West Ward. Apart from over Chatswood Station, there is possibility that the tunnel construction site at the intersection of Pacific Highway and Mowbray Rd could also be slated for development.
We should formalize our position on development at these two location!!!
POWERING THE METRO
The decision of where the new electricity cable to power the Metro should run is separate to issues canvassed in this EIS.
TUNNEL BORING MACHINES
Operational access to the site will be via Nelson St.
The site bounded by Mowbray Road, railway line, Nelson St and the Pacific Highway is being acquired as the western construction site. This is where the tunneling begins.
The Nelson St Bridge is to be removed (and not replaced).
Why is the bridge being removed? Why cannot the bridge be re-installed?
Has a traffic study been undertaking on the impact. What was the outcome?
TRAFFIC MATTERS & HAUL ROUTES
New right-hand turn on Pacific Highway:
The removal of the Nelson St Bridge will result in the need for right turn lanes (south-bound) for traffic needing to get onto Mowbray Rd West. Originally there was talk of two right turn lanes. The EIS mentions just a single lane.
What is our position on this proposal?
Ingress/Egress to the construction site: Access to the site will be from Nelson Street and Mowbray Rd. Egress will be from Mowbray Rd. Spoil haul trucks will need to turn right onto Mowbray Rd then right at the Pacific Highway. So you can envision the chaos with traffic controllers stopping traffic on Mowbray Rd to allow trucks to exit.
What is the destination for spoil?
Could an alternate haul rout be considered that does not require trucks to cross Mowbray Rd?
Mowbray Rd & Pacific Highway
Due to the removal of the Nelson St Bridge, It is proposed to install a right hand turn for Pacific Highway traffic southbound into Mowbray Rd West. Previously the plan was to install two right-turn lanes.
Is this proposal supported?
Is the preference for one or two right turn lanes?
Hamden Road & Mowbray Rd.
Proposal for new traffic lights
Orchard Road & Mowbray Rd.
Proposed change to phasing of lights.
What do the changes entail?
NOISE AND VIBRATION
There will be noise barriers along the rail corridor (Why?).
Existing noise barriers will be increased in height to about 4 metres Chapman Avenue/Nelson St, Frank Channon Walk, Nelson/Gordon Sts. A 2 metre barrier will also be built to the south of Mowbray Rd on the western side of the line.
Should noise barriers be installed at other sides of the site such as Nelson St and the Pacific Highway?
Demolition & excavation
Monday to Friday 7AM to 6 PM & Saturday 8AM to 1 PM. All other work 24 hours a day.
Are we OK with proposed hours?
What type of 24 hr work might pose a nuisance?
Demolition: 96 per day plus 78 light vehicles
Excavation: 234 per fay plus 248 light vehicles
Tunnel excavation: 286 per day and 248 light vehicles
Tunnel fit out: 254 per day and 248 light vehicles
It is claimed that spoil removal by freight train is not feasible as the T! North Shore line is not currently rated for freight transport.
Consideration should be given to upgrading the T1 line to freight capability.
Please refer elsewhere about our request to alter right turn egress from the site onto Mowbray Rd.
Can we please be provided with some comparative information to allow us to understand the potential impact of these movements?
The heritage-listed Mowbray House School site is shown (hatched) on the construction site diagram. It is proposedto retain the building. However, archival recording and reporting will be undertaken before works starts
Mowbray House: Direct impact: Minor (physical impact). Potential direct impact: Minor (vibration) – the closest façade of this item would experience vibration above the 7.5mm/s screening level for cosmetic damage. Indirect impact: Minor (views and vistas)
What steps will be taken to protect the building from potential vibration damage?
What guarantee is given that, if damaged, the building will be repaired?
Can a copy of the report on Mowbray House be given to the Willoughby/Lower North Shore Council and the Willoughby District Historical Society?
It is reported that the heritage sites such as the Great Northern Hotel, the Garden of Remebrance, the Water Tanks, the South Uniting Church the Electricity Sub-station and the house on the eastern side of the line will mainly suffer from visual impacts.
Frank Channon Walk
It is proposed to extend Frank Channon Walk to Mowbray Road. During construction, there will be short-term (weekend closures).
Trees will be removed within the rail corridor between Nelson St and Mowbray Rd.
Why can’t a 2 for 1 tree replacement process be implemented across all work areas?
Provision for 300 cars (but only predicting 248 movements per day).
The estimates for movements appears to be understated and should be reviewed.
It is reported that contractors MAY CONSIDER ‘park & shuttle’ services to transfer workers to and from the site.
Problems (particularly parking) with site workers occur on every major construction site. Parking arrangements for workers and contractors should be implemented as a Condition of Consent.
Temporary re-location of the 575 bus stop on Pacific Highway (between Bryson and Mowbray Rds)
Clarify current and proposed locations.
Issues relating to the temporary closure of the Chatswood to Epping rail line and replacement of train services by buses during the construction period.
Issues relating to potential overcrowding on Chatswood station if the Southwest Metro does not proceed.
Power Transmission cable
Route between Artarmon and Chatswood north