Sydney-siders will be given their first look at the congestion-busting NorthConnex tunnel today following the first end-to-end drive through of the $3 billion project.
A major milestone for the M1-M2 link in Sydney’s north, once finished it will mean motorists will by-pass 40 traffic lights on the Pacific Highway to the CBD.
The nine-kilometre, twin tunnels will change the way people across Sydney’s north commute from work to home.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said NorthConnex has already been a game-changer for Sydney with construction powering ahead and creating 8,700 jobs.
“We are so close to finishing NorthConnex and just today we’ve got around 400 workers across 11 sites.”
“It means across Sydney we’ll be getting you home sooner and safer.”
“It also shows our ongoing successful partnership in creating jobs with the New South Wales Government.”
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NorthConnex, once complete, would save up to 15 minutes’ travel time and allow drivers to avoid 21 sets of traffic lights along Pennant Hills Road.
“Today’s drive-through is another indication of how close we are getting to opening this key piece of infrastructure and helping to alleviate the traffic problems Pennant Hills Road has been experiencing for decades,” the Premier said.
“NorthConnex will return local streets to local communities by taking up to 5,000 trucks per day off Pennant Hills Road, easing congestion, improving safety and local air quality, and reducing traffic noise.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said this project has created hundreds of jobs throughout its construction.
“Our $100 billion 10-year infrastructure pipeline is delivering projects that make a real difference to everyday lives,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This project is one of many which is moving people safely and more efficiently across Sydney, while creating job opportunities for local workers.”
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said NorthConnex had been a jobs bonanza for the people of NSW.
“The benefits of NorthConnex are endless, people travelling from the north will save up to 15 minutes getting into the city,” Mr Tudge.
“It also means you can drive from Newcastle to Melbourne without a single set of traffic lights, which is great news for the people of the Central Coast.”
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said NorthConnex would be an asset Australians could take pride in.
“We’re installing Australian-first innovative lighting designs, including backlit silhouettes of native birds, trees and starry skies, to keep drivers alert in the country’s longest road tunnel,” Mr Constance said.
“This is a really exciting milestone for a really exciting project.”
The Commonwealth Government has committed $412.3 million towards NorthConnex on top of the NSW Government’s commitment of $577.3m, including the use of Hornsby Quarry for spoil management. The remainder of the funding for the project has been met by the private sector.