The $152 million capital works program to improve tourist and visitor safety at the Sydney Opera House has commenced, with funding of $152 million from the NSW Government.

The Vehicle Access and Pedestrian Safety Project (VAPS) is the largest single capital works program undertaken at the Sydney Opera House since its opening in 1973.

The project involves:

  • The diversion of the Bennelong Drain, a stormwater drain servicing parts of the Sydney CBD that runs across the Sydney Opera House site;
  • The excavation of a new access road and loading dock under the Forecourt; and
  • Remediation of the existing road to remove the curbs that can trip and injure visitors.

The Sydney Opera House will remain operational throughout the project, with theatres, restaurants and guided tours open for business. However, the Forecourt is closed and is expected to re-open to the public in mid 2013.