NSW Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay has officially opened the upgraded Hills M2 Motorway meaning motorists will benefit from improved travel times and reduced congestion.
“The upgrade started in January 2011 and involved building an extra lane in each direction between Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills and Lane Cove Road to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion for motorists,” Mr Gay said.
“More than 100,000 vehicles and 27,000 bus passengers will benefit from reduced travel times and improved access on and off the motorway.
“The upgrade aims to reduce congestion during busy afternoon and morning peak times and improve access to Sydney’s orbital network for the growing north-west community.
“The project is unique and complex as it involved carrying out widening work on an operational motorway including a tunnel.
“The upgrade required innovation in the building and design which included lengthening the existing Murray Farm Road Bridge and widening the Terrys Creek and Darling Mills Creek viaducts while maintaining and managing traffic flow.
“Four new on and off ramps were built at Windsor Road in Baulkham Hills and at Christie Road and Herring Road in Macquarie Park to improve motorway access.
“Work also was carried out to widen the Norfolk Tunnel in both directions, install noise walls and re-vegetate local bush land.”
Speed limits have been increased to 80km/h and 100km/h on sections of the motorway.
“Work will start soon to build the Lane Cove Road eastbound on ramp and some longer term motorway embankment maintenance will also be carried out at Marsfield,” Mr Gay said.
“Cyclists have been welcomed back onto the motorway and will also benefit from the completion of the upgrade.
“The car toll at the main toll plaza was frozen in April 2012 when an indexation increase was due in recognition of the inconvenience to motorists of the construction work.
“This is the first toll increase for cars and motorcycles at the main toll plaza since July 2009 and only the second since 2006.
“At the height of the project around 220 site staff and up to 600 field crew were employed at any one time.
“Around 60,000 tonnes of rock were excavated in widening the tunnel and more than 48,000 square metres of road surface laid.
“Work was due to be completed earlier this year but was delayed due to ongoing wet weather.
“The Hills M2 is a key public transport corridor with dedicated bus lanes in both directions from Beecroft Road to Windsor Road.
“I thank motorists for their patience while this work was carried out,” Mr Gay said.
The Hills M2 opened to traffic in May 1997 and is a key part of the Sydney Orbital Network, providing an important link between the M7 and the Lane Cove Tunnel. The M2 extends through Ryde, Hornsby and The Hills local government areas.