Motorists will be able to bypass 21 sets of traffic lights between the M1 and M2 motorways when NorthConnex opens to traffic this weekend, completing a long-awaited ‘missing link’ in the National Highway network.
Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott said the $3 billion mega-project will save motorists up to 15 minutes in travel time, boosting productivity and busting congestion.
“The twin nine kilometre tunnels between the M1 at Wahroonga and M2 at West Pennant Hills will provide smoother and faster journeys for thousands of motorists, and avoid 40 sets of traffic lights on the Pacific Highway when used as a route to the CBD.”
Mr Elliott said the project has been a major driver of employment, creating around 8,700 jobs for NSW.
“NorthConnex has been supported by local businesses including from Western Sydney and the Central Coast who have been crucial to the delivery of the tunnels,” Mr Elliott said.
Mr Elliott said up to 5,000 trucks a day will be removed from the notorious Pennant Hills Road, which is rated one of the most congested roads in NSW.
“NorthConnex will boost safety along Pennant Hills Road, where there’s an average of one traffic incident every day. It will also feature the latest in ‘next gen’ tunnel technology, including 24/7 monitoring,” Mr Elliott said.
“The straighter, flatter route will help reduce freight maintenance costs and improve fuel efficiency, while the height clearance of 5.1 metres is one of the highest in Sydney.”
Mr Elliott said NorthConnex reaches depths of up to 90 metres, making it Australia’s deepest road tunnel.
“Australian-first, innovative lighting displays will help keep drivers alert, including stunning starscapes, trees and native bird installations along the route,” Mr Elliott said.
“Panelling will symbolise the transition between the rural environment of the north and the urban environment of the city and the south.”
Mr Elliott said as a two lane tunnel with space for a third lane in future, NorthConnex would have the capacity to carry up to 100,000 vehicles per day.
“The local community has been calling for an alternative to Pennant Hills Road for decades. With the first vehicles entering in a few hours, history will be made,” Mr Elliott said.
“The flow-on benefits include improved air quality around Pennant Hills Road, safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists, and less traffic noise.”
Transurban CEO Scott Charlton said NorthConnex will leave a positive lasting legacy for the local community.
“We’re proud to have delivered this world class piece of road infrastructure, and would like to thank the more than 20,000 residents living along the corridor for their cooperation and patience as we worked on this project,” Mr Elliott said.
“Thank you and congratulations to everyone who’s been involved in and committed to delivering this transformative and bold project to the highest standard.”
NorthConnex is a $3 billion project including funding of $577.3 million from the NSW Government, $412.3 million from the Australian Government and $2 billion from Transurban and its private sector partners.
The tolls to use NorthConnex are in line with the M2 at $7.99 for cars and $23.97 for heavy vehicles.
Toll Relief will apply. Drivers who spend an average of $25 a week over a year are entitled to free registration. Drivers who spend an average of $15 a week over a year are entitled to half price registration.
For more information visit www.northconnex.com.au.