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Berthing Infrastructure Project
Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney

A major project by Port Authority of New South Wales to protect and support the wharf alongside Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal to ensure it continues providing a safe berth for ships. 

Port Authority of New South Wales ensures the safe navigation and berthing of commercial vessels in the working ports and harbours of NSW. In Sydney, Port Authority manages infrastructure and facilities at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Cruise Terminal. At both terminals, Port Authority ensures ships navigate safely to and from berth, provides berthing infrastructure, and manages berth scheduling and security. 

Image: The Overseas Passenger Terminal located in Circular Quay in Sydney Harbour

Built in 1960, the OPT at Circular Quay is located in one of Australia’s busiest waterways. Over time, natural processes and vessel activity can cause changes to the features and depths of the seabed, shipping channels and berths. Port Authority monitors, maps and assesses these changes to ensure ships can navigate and berth safely in the ports of NSW. 

Following surveys by Port Authority’s hydrographic survey team that identified movement, scouring and accretion of the seabed around the OPT's wharf, Port Authority will begin a major project in January 2021 to protect and support the terminal’s wharf and ensure it continues providing a safe berth for ships.  

Project works 

Works will take place in two stages from January to July 2021. 

Stage 1: 27January–early March 2021 

Stage 1 of the project will prevent the ongoing movement of sediment by installing sheet piles to create an underwater retaining wallalong the OPTssouthern embankment. The sheet piles will be installed from the water by a barge alongside the terminal’s wharf. A small staging area will be located at the terminal’s Southern Forecourt. 

Image: the location of stage 1 works

A sheet pile is used in construction projects to provide earth retention and excavation support. They are made of sections of sheet materials, usually steel, with interlocking edges that are driven into the ground. 

Works dates and times
Stage 1 works take place from 27 January 2021 and are scheduled for completion in early March 2021. Mobilisation on site will start from 11 January.  

Due to the high volume ofdaytimevessel traffic in Circular Quay,works will take place at night from 9pm–5.30am, excluding Saturdays.  Mitigation measures will be in place to reduce potential impacts such as noise, vibrations and light. Any issues or disturbances can be reported to Port Authority’s 24-hour community enquiries line on 02 9296 4962. 

More information on Port Authority’s community complaints procedure.

The OPT wharf will remain open to the public during the works and will not affect businesses at the OPT: Cruise Bar, Quay Restaurant, Squire’s Landing and Yukis at the Quay. 

Changes to Ferry Wharf 6 (West) 
Due to their proximity to the worksite, Ferry Wharf 6 (West)the Commissioners Steps and Harbour Master Steps in Circular Quay will be closed during the Stage 1 works. Ferries and water taxis will use alternative wharves during this time. Please contact transportnsw.info for information about changes to ferry arrangements. 

Image: Ferry Wharf 6 (West) will be closed during Stage 1 works

Information for vessels and mariners 
Restrictions will be in place for vessels using Circular Quay during the Stage 1 works. maritime exclusion zone will be established around the worksite, including the closure of Ferry Wharf 6 (West), the Commissioners Steps and Harbour Master StepsThere will be no access for ferries or water taxis to these sites during the works. 

Please refer to the Notice to Mariners on Port Authority’s website. For immediate information, contact Sydney Harbour VTS using VHF Channel 13. 

Stage 2: March–July 2021 (scheduled) 

Stage 2 of the project will remove accumulated seabed material around the OPT wharf to deepen the berth area and provide room for the installation of concrete mattresses along the wharf’s base to protect the seawall from erosion. More information about Stage 2 will be provided ahead of the works, currently scheduled to begin in March 2021. 

More information 

Updates will be added to this page as the project develops.

Contact Port Authority for more information or enquiries about the Berthing Infrastructure Project