Warringah freeway upgrade: air quality monitoring

Find out how we are monitoring air quality and dust before and during the construction of the Warringah freeway upgrade and construction of the western harbour tunnel in Sydney.

The Warringah freeway upgrade project is part of the construction of the western harbour tunnel.

We have issued an environment protection licence to Transport for NSW requiring measures to ensure dust from the freeway construction works do not impact on the community and environment.

In response to community concern about air quality impacts from the construction, we have set up an air monitoring program to provide information about local air quality.

A network of air quality monitors will check air quality before and during construction.

The monitors are not a compliance tool, but they will provide us with information about air quality. Site checks and other methods will be used to ensure compliance with Transport for NSW’s licence conditions. 

Monitoring locations

The main air quality monitor has been set up at the construction support site at Cammeray Park, opposite the synthetic soccer fields.

Ten KOALAs (Know Our Ambient Local Air Quality), portable sensors provided by Queensland University of Technology, have been set up in a line between Wollstonecraft, Cammeray Park and Middle Harbour.

The locations of the monitors were selected in consultation with atmospheric scientists from the Department of Planning and Environment.

The location of the main monitor was selected as the best available space close to the main construction site, with good air flow, no risk of flooding and where noise would not impact residents.

The position of the portable monitors provides representative data for locations at increasing distances from the construction works. The transect between Wollstonecraft and Middle Harbour aligns with the dominant wind directions.

Air quality measurements

The main monitor measures particles (dust) in two sizes, PM10 and PM2.5, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, oxides of nitrogen, visibility, wind speed, wind direction, ambient temperature and relative humidity.

The KOALA sensors measure PM2.5 particles.

Reporting the results

The air quality data from the main monitor will be updated hourly and available on the Department of Planning and Environment website.

The data from the portable monitors will be updated every 30 minutes and made available on the Queensland University of Technology website.

The data will also be reviewed and reported quarterly by atmospheric scientists in the Department of Planning and Environment.

Air quality data and your health

  • Air quality standards following the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (NEPM) are based on 24-hour averages, so data reported in 30- and 60 -minute intervals may go above guidelines while still adhering to the NEPM standards. Short-term spikes in particulates can occur due to sudden gusts of wind which carry dust or sea salt, dust storms and bushfires or hazard reduction burning in the Sydney basin. 
  • You can follow the activity guide produced by the Department of Planning and Environment for advice on how to change your daily activities based on air quality indicators.
  • See information on protecting yourself from air pollution on the NSW Health site

More information

  • For more information about the project, contact  Environment Line on 131 555.
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