World News – UA – Ribbon finally cut for Sydney’s $ 3 billion NorthConnex road tunnel


Ribbon was cut on Australia’s deepest road tunnel, Sydney’s $ 3 billion NorthConnex, after nearly a year of delays

The long-awaited ‘missing link’, connecting the M1 Pacific motorway to the M2 in northern Sydney, will be open to motorists in the early hours of Saturday

For the first time, scheduled to open late last year, the project was pushed back earlier this year to the third quarter of 2020, with delays in commissioning and then sprawling on an extra month amid coronavirus travel restrictions

Motorists will be charged $ 7.99 for a car and $ 2397 for a truck Trucks will also be fined $ 194 for driving along Pennant Hills Road

New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the twin tunnels, which dig up to 90 meters deep, would « change the lives » of Sydneysiders as motorists would be able to get from Newcastle to Melbourne without encountering a traffic light

As truck drivers say they are being unfairly targeted by being piped on a toll highway, M Constance said the move would ease pressure on Pennant Hills Road, one of the most congested in the state

Federal Minister of Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge cuts the ribbon on the NorthConnex tunnel on Friday under the watchful eye of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew ConstanceCredit: Renee Nowytarger

Government projects tunnel will remove 5,000 trucks per day from Pennant Hills Road and have the capacity to transport 100,000 vehicles in 24 hours

Over 140 air-jet fans line the roof of the tunnel, which also includes 46 kilometers of heat-sensing optical cable that triggers a segmented sprinkler system in the event of a fire

Five thousand LED lights are scattered throughout the tunnel as well as 400 electrical panels and nearly 850 cameras

The tunnel is expected to open at 2 a.m. on Saturday, although it could be pushed back if heavy rains impact the final works

Hundreds of workers from the NorthConnex project were on hand to witness the tunnel opening on FridayCredit: Renee Nowytarger

The NSW government paid $ 577 million for the tunnel, and the Commonwealth invested $ 412 million Toll giant Transurban, which will operate the tunnel, has paid $ 2 billion with several partners private

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the project would inject $ 4 billion into the economy and created more than 8,000 jobs, many of which were maintained during the coronavirus pandemic

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« Even during the darkest months of the pandemic, this project continued to move forward, » Ms. Berejiklian said

NSW Transport Workers’ Union secretary Richard Olsen called mandatory truck tolls exorbitant and said some drivers would soon have to pay $ 250 a week

« Transurban targets heavy vehicles to increase profits from its infrastructure business, but does not provide a ‘de-congestion’ solution, » the union said in a statement

Truck operator Rob Woolley said he expected his fleet to incur around $ 60,000 in toll bills over a year after NorthConnex opened

New South Wales Environment Minister and Hornsby member Matt Kean said it was appropriate for the tunnel to open on Halloween « because ultimately the Pennant horror show Hills Road is finished « 

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NorthConnex, Sydney, Tunnel, Transurban, Government of New South Wales

World news – UA – Ribbon finally cut for $ 3 billion NorthConnex road tunnel in Sydney



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