When out in the community I would hear time and time again that Pennant Hills Road was one of the worst roads in the state. Those who travel along it daily will know the traffic is unbearable and the construction of the NorthConnex tunnel can’t come fast enough.
The recent NSW Budget committed funding of $1.2 million for the continued construction of the NorthConnex tunnel for the next financial year. Once completed, the tunnel will take approximately 5,000 trucks off the road and ease traffic congestion along Pennant Hills Road. Those travelling through the tunnel will avoid 21 sets of traffic lights and take 15 minutes off their travel time. The State Government has committed millions of dollars across the state to improve NSW roads. I believe this investment in our area will benefit not just those who travel along Pennant Hills Road, but also the community in the surrounding areas.
More than 7kms has already been dug and they currently have 19 massive roadheaders working to dig along the route. NorthConnex has recently launched a very useful interactive map on their website which shows the location of the roadheaders, which parts of the tunnel have already been dug and projections of the tunnelling over the next 30 days. This is a great tool for those living around the tunnel to see progress. I was also pleased to see the Men’s Shed has partnered with NorthConnex to build 72 custom-designed boxes for possums, bats and birds. With the tunnel construction, there is some necessary tree removal and this will provide replacement homes for native animals.
Another of the great benefits from NorthConnex will be what’s happening at Hornsby Quarry. The Budget saw $8.2 million set aside for the road transfer of spoil to the Hornsby Quarry. Spoil will be taken from the tunnel site to the Hornsby Quarry and loaded onto a specially designed conveyor system. They will deliver up to 1 million cubic metres of spoil to Hornsby Quarry with it expected to be completed in 2019.
Once filled the Quarry will then be turned over to council to be transformed into parklands. With ideas already flowing into council it will be amazing to have a recreational area right on the door of the Hornsby CBD. There are so many opportunities for council to develop this vast amount of space. To fill the Hornsby Quarry has seemed like an impossible task for so many years and usually the spoil from tunnels such as NorthConnex would be sold. I saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to use the spoil which would otherwise be sold to benefit our community.
This is a project which has a long-term goal, but I believe the outcome will far outweigh the work we have ahead. The first spoil delivery is expected to happen soon and I will keep residents updated on the progress of both projects. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions about the Hornsby Quarry. Also jump on the NorthConnex website and check out the interactive map and follow the tunnel’s progress.