Relief in Sight for Easter Congestion

Media Release

PF025/2018

29 March 2018

Joint release with:

Julian Leeser

Federal Member for Berowra

Andrew Constance

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

Matt Kean

NSW Member for Hornsby

Easter weekend is one of the busiest times on NSW roads especially for tens of thousands of Sydney-siders who traditionally head north—but relief is in sight for motorists with major milestones reached on the NorthConnex project.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said construction on Australia's longest road tunnel project was making great progress, with the first signs of tunnelling coming to an end at the Southern Interchange compound in Sydney's north.

“NorthConnex will be a big help for the huge annual Easter exodus of Sydney-siders heading north when it opens in late 2019,” Mr Fletcher said.

“NorthConnex will boost the state and national economies by providing more reliable journeys as motorists bypass 21 sets of traffic lights on the notoriously congested Pennant Hills Road.”

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the Southern Interchange was the most progressed site on the $3 billion project and with tunnel excavation nearing completion, the giant grey acoustic shed was now being removed.

“Motorists passing the site will no longer see the familiar grey shed, but they will start to see the state-of-the-art ventilation facility and Motorway Operations Centre take shape,” Mr Constance said.

“Just three years ago the first boreholes were put in the ground and today we are seeing one of the first signs of tunnelling coming to an end on the project.”

Federal Member for Berowra Julian Leeser said the shed housed a 30-metre-deep tunnel shaft and a large gantry crane required to lift more than 500 tonnes of spoil per hour to the surface.

“Now that the shaft is no longer needed to extract sandstone and shale, the shed is being decommissioned to make way for construction of the permanent facilities,” Mr Leeser said.

NSW Member for Hornsby Matt Kean said the project's 20 roadheaders have been tunnelling 24 hours a day and have excavated more than 1.9 million cubic metres of soil and rock to date.

“Around 19 of the 21 kilometres of mainline tunnel and ramps have now been excavated across the project with tunnelling on track to be completed by mid-year,” Mr Kean said.

NSW Member for Epping Damien Tudehope said the project was key to improving congestion.

“It's fantastic to see this project come to life. NorthConnex is really going to change the way we move around and through this part of Sydney,” Mr Tudehope said.

Residents can view the designs for the Southern Interchange facilities in the project's Urban Design and Landscape Plan.

For more information visit www.northconnex.com.au.