Getting from Wynyard to Barangaroo is now a four-minute walk, via the new Wynyard Walk.
The new tunnel from Wynyard Station links with the Sussex St Bridge and the Napoleon Bridge over Hickson Road, providing a quick and safe route to Sydney’s newest food and commercial district as well as Barangaroo Reserve.
It eliminates road crossings and steep inclines, and is fully accessible.
Barangaroo has been open for business for more than a year, and the foot traffic has been growing exponentially. Wynyard Walk is the ultimate shortcut for officer workers, restaurant patrons and tourists alike.
It was officially opened by NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance on 20 September.
Creating a pedestrian tunnel under CBD buildings from Wynyard to Barangaroo was an enormous feat of design, engineering and planning, says Bob Nation, design adviser to the Authority and a member of the Project Review Panel. But based on the thousands of people who are using Wynyard Walk every day, it was time, effort and money well spent.
This video shows the four-minute walk from the turnstiles of Wynyard Station to Barangaroo, via Napoleon Plaza and the Sussex Street Bridge.
Until Wynyard Walk was opened, on 20 September, this was a minimum 10-minute journey at street level, often longer during peak hour when commuters were jammed shoulder to shoulder on the busy CBD footpaths and intersections.
Apart from reducing time and increasing pedestrian safety, Wynyard Walk now provides a 100 per cent accessible journey, eradicating the steep incline and making it a breeze for people with a disability, the elderly or people with strollers.
Bob Nation, said the new Wynyard Walk was a testament to all involved.
“This project was a major challenge with strict constraints. But when you have 25,000 people scheduled to be working in Barangaroo, 20,000 of whom will be using Wynyard Station, it was crucial we got it right,” said Mr Nation.
“Thiess, the construction company, and Woods Bagot, the architect, facilitated this project in the best possible way. It required perseverance and a commitment to a quality outcome, and that is what has been achieved.”
Mr Nation said there was a large degree of ‘structural gymnastics’ involved to go under or around the substructure of major CBD buildings.
“Negotiating all the service lines was also a major challenge – avoiding or rerouting water and stormwater pipes, power, gas, communications and sewer lines. While the services were mapped, they were all at different depths and alignments, and we discovered several lines that weren’t on the maps.
“It was crucial to negotiate the services forensically, not only from a safety point of view, but also to avoiding knocking out services for a large part of the CBD,” said Mr Nation.
The tunnel comes out at Napoleon Place, a light filled pedestrian interchange, where people can choose their route, either over the Sussex Street Bridge to the office towers and restaurants in Barangaroo’s southern precinct, or head 600m north along Hickson Road to Barangaroo Reserve.
Wynyard Walk will operation between 5am and 9pm daily, closing overnight until late 2016 to allow for the completion of the Clarence Street entrance and minor finishes.