Light at the end of the tunnel

NorthConnex now half built

Bypassing 21 sets of traffic lights and the exhausting, dangerous and filthy grind of Pennant Hills Road came a step closer for thousands of drivers, with the news that the $3bn NorthConnex tunnel is now half way built.

The twin tunnels reached halfway point last week, celebrated with yet another photo call with scores of ministers and the Premier, all in high viz jackets and boots.

But the state government remains adamant that filtering the 30m stack set to release toxic fumes into the air at the end of Burns Road in Wahroonga, won’t need filtering.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher, Minister for Transport Andrew Constance, Hornsby state MP Matt Kean and federal Member for Berowra Julian Leeser marked the project milestone which will change transport in NorthWest Sydney for a generation.

“It’s great to see the project powering towards the finish line,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Once complete, motorists will be able to travel from Newcastle to Melbourne without stopping at a single set of lights.

“And NorthConnex will save up to 15 minutes of travel time compared to using Pennant Hills Road.”

Hornsby MP Mr Kean said there are 20 roadheaders working 24/7 to deliver this vital infrastructure, part of the National Highway route.

“Today marks almost 11 out of 21 kilometres excavated with the project running on schedule. For those stuck on Pennant Hills Road each day, the tunnel can’t come fast enough,” said Mr Kean.

He said more than 1.3 million cubic metres of spoil had been removed so far. “Tunnelling is progressing at around 400 metres per week which is good news for motorists.

“Around 500 Olympic sized swimming pools of spoil have been excavated from underneath homes and businesses and is being re-used in projects throughout Sydney, including on the Hornsby Quarry rejuvenation project.”

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