Tunnelling of Australia’s longest and deepest road tunnels, which will allow drivers to travel between Newcastle and Melbourne without stopping at a single set of traffic lights, is now complete. Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance today witnessed the final NorthConnex breakthrough.
Mr Tudge said the $3 billion project would transform NSW, and boost the national and NSW economies. “NorthConnex will bust congestion and provide more reliable and efficient journeys for freight,” Mr Tudge said.
“It is another demonstration of the Federal and State Coalition governments working together to deliver vital infrastructure to improve the quality of life for hard working Australians, getting them home faster and safer.”
Ms Berejiklian said the NSW Government was investing record amounts in public transport projects and is delivering vital missing motorway links.
“For too long the clogged Pennant Hills Road has been a headache for locals and a bottleneck for trucks delivering goods around our State,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“NorthConnex will remove 5,000 trucks a day from Pennant Hills Road, bypass 21 sets of traffic lights and save drivers up to 15 minutes in travel time.”
NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said tunnelling started back in mid-2016 when the project’s first road header entered the ground at West Pennant Hills.
“Fast forward two years, 14 breakthroughs, 2.4 million cubic metres of spoil and the twin nine-kilometre tunnels are ready to be paved,” Mr Constance said.
“This project is another demonstration of the Australian and NSW governments working together to deliver vital infrastructure.” Federal Member for Berowra Julian Leeser said the project has been a enourmous one.
“Around 2,550,000 cubic metres of spoil has been excavated across all sites almost 300,000 cubic metres of shotcrete and concrete has been poured,” Mr Leeser said.
“It is fantastic to see this great project reaching another major milestone with almost 8 kilometres of tunnel trenching completed and 13 more kilometres to go.”
NorthConnex fast facts:
• A total of 9 roadheaders and one surface miner remain on site;
• Over 900,000 cubic metres of spoil has been delivered to Hornsby Quarry;
• The average daily peak workforce is up to 1,700 workers on site;
• 11,500 people have been inducted to the project. It is estimated 15,000 in total will be inducted;
• $16 million spent to date with Indigenous businesses;
• 182 apprentices completed Certificate III Civil Construction through the NCXHub