Some of the greatest cities in the world have been banking big on unique urban walking trails, from New York City’s modest 2.3 km The High Line to Vancouver’s 2.8 km Seawall. Sydney joined the fray just a few years ago by introducing an ambitious 80 km coastal walk from Bondi to Manly. But clearly, that wasn’t enough for the NSW Government, which has now announced plans for an expansive 91 km continuous walkway connecting Sydney Opera House and Parramatta. With the state ponying up $60 million for the pathway – working title: Parramatta to Sydney Foreshore Link – this project will completely transform the way people think about the typical disconnect between Sydney and Western Sydney.
Parramatta CBD will be changing a lot over the next few years, in addition to the steps that have already been taken to transform a suburb that’s still mostly known for having one of the biggest Westfields in the country. While it may not be quite there yet, the western hub will be getting a number of facelift essentials over the next few years, including a new five-star luxury hotel with QT Parramatta as well as a whole host of new Sydney restaurants from notable chefs.
This 91 km walkway will arguably be the biggest step towards propping Parramatta up as Sydney’s second CBD. The walkway will be used by both pedestrians and cyclists, stretching from the harbour end of Parramatta Park to the Sydney Opera House, spanning no less than 18 different suburbs. Which should push locals and visitors to explore more of the city as the Parramatta to Sydney Foreshore Link becomes one of the city’s longest and most important transport connections.
Not all of the project will require some new ground to be laid. Some existing pathways dotted between the two points will form part of the Parramatta to Sydney Foreshore Link. Other parts will need to be built from scratch, if only to connect currently inaccessible foreshore sections and make them all part of the 91 km walkway.
“This pathway will take in some of our most spectacular sights and unlock incredible lifestyle and accessibility opportunities the route offers for the benefit of locals and visitors,” said Treasurer Matt Kean as he announced the news late last week alongside Minister for Infrastructure, Cities, & Active Transport Rob Stokes.
The idea for the Parramatta to Sydney Foreshore Link was first proposed by The McKell Institute of the Labor Party back in 2020 before it was adopted by Dominic Perrottet back in his former role as New South Wales Treasurer. If you mine the 2020-21 NSW Budget, you’ll find $500,000 committed to explore moving ahead with the project, which is chump change compared to what’s actually going towards making these plans a reality over the next few years.
The sizable investment in the Foreshore Link will be included in the 2022-23 budget, which should make the timeline a bit clearer. As of right now, a completion date has not yet been revealed.
“Since 1811, our city’s prosperity has been propelled by road and rail connections between the settlements of Sydney and Parramatta,” added Rob Stokes.
“This new connection will allow walking and cycling trips to proliferate, making lives easier, healthier and more enjoyable for locals, commuters and visitors for centuries to come.”