A virtual guided tour and 360 degree tunnel vision is giving the community behind-the-scenes access to Australia’s deepest road tunnel, NorthConnex ahead of its opening in the coming weeks.
Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott said while current social distancing restrictions don’t allow for an on-site community open day, an innovative virtual tour will ensure the community won’t miss out on this historic event.
“Connecting the M1 Motorway in Wahroonga, to the Hills M2 Motorway via 9km twin tunnels, NorthConnex will provide an underground bypass of the notorious Pennant Hills Road, making it one of the most significant and eagerly anticipated road infrastructure projects in Australia,” Mr Elliott said.
“The NorthConnex virtual tunnel tour is the first of its kind, replicating the in-person experience we were hoping to give the community ahead of its opening, allowing people to travel deep underground and into the tunnel from the comfort of their own homes.
“We’re encouraging the community to visit northconnex.com.au to take a look inside Sydney’s newest motorway and explore some of the unique features, technology and areas of the tunnels that have never been seen before.
“It’s a rare opportunity to see the progress that’s been made underground and gain insight from the team that helped to build what is a game changing project for NSW.
“There are also interactive 360 degree cameras to give people a close-up view of every angle including the entries, traffic control room and the in-tunnel light installations, which are an Australian first.”
Mr Elliott said NorthConnex will provide the missing link in the National Highway route motorists have been wanting for decades.
“Moving around Sydney’s north will become more reliable with a one-way trip in the tunnels expected to take around eight minutes, saving drivers up to 15 minutes in travel time compared with Pennant Hills Road,” Mr Elliott said.
“Motorists will bypass 21 sets of traffic lights along Pennant Hills Road, while up to 5,000 trucks a day will be removed from this busy road corridor, easing congestion and improving safety.”
NorthConnex is Australia’s deepest road tunnel and an engineering marvel, with careful planning required to excavate underneath three train lines.
At the deepest point the tunnel is 90 metres – or around 27 storeys below the surface – with an average depth of 60 metres.
The $3 billion NorthConnex tunnels are in the final stages of operational testing and software commissioning and expected to open soon.
The virtual guided tour and 360° vision can be accessed via northconnex.com.au.