Sydney, New South Wales


Sydney Opera House Trust



  • Pipelines


 2011 – 2012

Contract value

<$25 million

Bennelong Drain Diversion & Vehicle
Access and Pedestrian Safety (VAPS)
Early Works


Fast facts

1,000 no.

pedestrians through the site each day


heritage listed brick oviform stormwater drain connection

300 m

dual supply 200 mm dia watermains


The Bennelong Drain Diversion features the construction of a box culvert stormwater drain to the Sydney Opera House (SOH) forecourt including the removal of the forecourt pavers, protection of services, excavation of rock and fill, construction of insitu box culverts, backfilling and reinstatement of asphalt roadway. Works also include an outfall structure to Farm Cove in Sydney Harbour and connection to a heritage listed brick oviform stormwater drain (constructed in the 1850’s).

The Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety (VAPS) Early Works requires multiple service relocations and construction of new services in the Sydney Opera House Forecourt including high voltage power, water mains, fire hydrant mains, sewer rising mains, sewer pump station and stormwater main. The scope also requires the reconstruction of the concrete roof slab over the Sydney Opera House car park pedestrian walkway tunnel, which forms part of the existing roadway. The main criteria for these works is to minimise any impact on the Sydney Opera House operations, including no services disruptions, no power outages and no closures of the pedestrian access tunnel to the car park.

The project will manage potential impacts of construction on local waterways, marine life and culturally significant structures, whilst being ‘invisible’ due to the iconic location and Sydney Opera House guidelines.

“On behalf of the Sydney Opera House Trust, I would like to congratulate Seymour Whyte for successfully completing the Bennelong Drain Diversion and Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety Early Works on time and within budget. Seymour Whyte demonstrated professional and sensitive approach to this high profile, culturally significant project. From the very beginning, the project team were committed to an open and transparent relationship with SOHT and worked collaboratively with us in meeting and exceeding project requirements. Throughout construction, project management was undertaken in an effective manner with attention to detail in planning, stakeholder management and subcontractor management. Seymour Whyte’s continual emphasis on communication had a significant contribution to the success of the project on all fronts. The Bennelong Drain Diversion has exceeded expectations in safety, project management and stakeholder consultation, setting a commendable standard as the first stage of the Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety Project, which will transform the iconic Sydney Opera House experience for generations to come.”

Greg McTaggart, Director, Building Development and Maintenance, Sydney Opera House, 2012

Project gallery

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