No more traffic jams: ‘Life changing’ tunnel opening on Saturday will make long weekend and holiday travel through Sydney easier for MILLIONS of drivers
- The new $3billion NorthConnex tunnel aims to reduce traffic and improve safety
- Trips from Sydney to Central Coast will be 15 minutes shorter by using the tunnel
- Trucks on Pennant Hills Road will be fined and have to pay $24 to use the tunnel
- It is estimated 5,000 trucks will be diverted from Pennant Hills Road each day
The $3billion NorthConnex tunnel will make life easier for millions of Sydneysiders seeking a long weekend holiday north by diverting 5,000 trucks away from the busy Pennant Hills Road every day.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge cut the ribbon along with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the tunnel’s opening ceremony on Friday.
The tunnel will connect the M1 Pacific Motorway to the M2 in Sydney’s north when it opens to the public on Saturday morning.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge (centre) cut the ribbon along with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (right) at the NorthConnex opening ceremony on Friday
Motorists in cars will be charged a $7.99 toll to use the tunnel while truck drivers will pay $23.97. Trucks will now be fined $194 for driving along Pennant Hills Road.
The NSW Government estimates NorthConnex can carry 100,000 vehicles in 24 hours, which will reduce traffic and pollution on Pennant Hills Road.
‘NorthConnex is going to strip up to 5,000 trucks a day off the notorious Pennant Hills Road, which is one of the most congested roads in NSW,’ Mr Tudge said.
‘A daily commuter will save 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon every single day.
‘The safety benefits for so many families, getting people home safely at the end of each day, is immeasurable.’
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said: ‘This is a life changer. It’s a life changer for millions of people.
‘When you take the most hated road in Australia and it’s now going to become one which is better for those communities with the NorthConnex tunnel underneath it, you can’t lose sight of that.’
The twin tunnels are 90 metres below the ground at their deepest points, which makes it the deepest road tunnel in all of Australia.
More than 140 jet air fans line the roof of the tunnel, which also had 46km of heat sensing optical cable that triggers a sprinkler system in case of a fire.
There are almost 850 cameras in the tunnels, 400 electric signs and 5,000 LED lights.
The first cars drive through the NorthConnex at the opening ceremony on Friday before the tunnel opens to the public on Saturday. Motorists in cars will be charged a $7.99 toll to use the tunnel while truck drivers will pay $23.97. Trucks will now be fined $194 for driving along Pennant Hills Road
NorthConnex also has lighting displays of starscapes, trees and native birds to help keep drivers alert and stop them falling asleep at the wheel.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said NorthConnex is ‘one of the most significant and eagerly anticipated road infrastructure projects ever delivered in Australia’.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the project has created 8,700 jobs in the state.
‘Around 300 businesses from the Western Sydney area and another 50 from the Central Coast have also contributed to the project, highlighting the opportunities this project has created for local suppliers and contractors,’ she said.
How the NorthConnex tunnel will ‘change lives’ in Sydney and NSW
- The tunnel will reduce traffic on Pennant Hills Road, which will reduce pollution and congestion
- Truck drivers will now face $194 fines for driving along Pennant Hills Road instead of the NorthConnex tunnel
- The NSW Government estimates this will divert 5,000 trucks from Pennant Hills Road per day
- It is hoped that safety on Pennant Hills Road will also improve as a result of the tunnel
- Features of tunnel such as light displays and cameras also aim to improve safety for drivers
- Motorists will have 15 minutes cut off their journey when driving to the NSW Central Coast from Sydney and vice versa
- Construction of the tunnel has created 8,700 jobs from 350 businesses
Hundreds of construction workers who built the NorthConnex tunnel gathered at the opening ceremony. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the project has created 8,700 jobs in the state