THE opening of Sculpture by the Sea tomorrow will signal the start of hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the foreshore to see more than 100 exhibits on show for the next two weeks.
And it will also signal the start of strict parking restrictions, road closures, event clearway zone extensions and boosted public transport services in and around local roads surrounding the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk.
The event, celebrating its 20th anniversary this week, is expected to attract local, state, national and international visitors in numbers tipped to exceed 500,000.
Transport for NSW will put on an extra 627 buses during the event, including 107 on weekdays, 267 on Saturdays and 253 on Sundays.
Temporary clearways will be in place on both sides of Bondi Rd on the weekend.
They will be in place eastbound between Old South Head Rd and Sandridge St from 8am to 12pm, and city bound between Sandridge and Oxford streets from 2pm to 8pm.
“The best way to get to Sculpture by the Sea is by catching a T4 eastern suburbs and Illawarra line train to Bondi Junction, then taking a bus or walking,” a Transport Management Centre spokesman said.
“With buses likely to fill quickly for this popular event, long waiting times are likely and passengers are advised to allow plenty of time.”
But organisers warn there will be traffic delays as the squeeze for parking spaces hits a premium on weekends during the 16-day event.
“Although changed traffic conditions will be in place, lengthy delays are predicted on roads, especially on weekends,” the spokesman said.
Some local roads surrounding the coastal walk will also be closed or restricted to residents only.
From 7.30am tomorrow, road closures come in to force on: Notts Ave from Campbell Pde; along Fletcher and Kenneth Sts between Alexander St and Marks Lane; on Ashley St from Darling St; on Bayview St from Bronte Marine Drive; on Wolaroi Cres from Thompson St; from Silva St from Fletcher St to the end of the street; on Carlisle St from Dellview St; and on Darling St between Alfred and Ashley Sts.
There will be a 24-hour, seven days a week road closure of Cross St, while this year traffic on Turner St will be changed to one-way westbound traffic only. And only local residents will be able to access to Birrell St east of Tamarama St and Darling St east of Alfred St.
Waverly Council is this week organising special permits for residents on streets closed to commuter traffic.
“We are doing everything possible to assist residents and improve the experience for visitors,” a council spokesman said.
“To minimise the impact of additional congestion and improve traffic flow, the council, Roads and Maritime Services, local traffic police, Sydney buses and Sculpture by the Sea work together to manage traffic during the event.”
Event organisers have hand-picked 20 previous Sculpture exhibitors to return to mark this year’s anniversary, including Bellevue Hill’s own Gillie and March Schattner who will install their 7m long upside down rhino on the sand at Tamarama Beach.
“It’s all about how rhinos are facing extinction and if we don’t do something to help it they will just disappear,” Gillie said.
The well-known contemporary artist couple decided on the site of their work yesterday and today work begins on placing the fibreglass and steel bronze painted sculpture they have named Shandu, which means hope in South Africa.