News from Matt Kean - North Con­nex

Monthly Chronicle - - Local Politics - Matt Kean

When out in the com­mu­nity I would hear time and time again that Pen­nant Hills Road was one of the worst roads in the state. Those who travel along it daily will know the traf­fic is un­bear­able and the con­struc­tion of the NorthCon­nex tun­nel can’t come fast enough.

The re­cent NSW Bud­get com­mit­ted fund­ing of $1.2 mil­lion for the con­tin­ued con­struc­tion of the NorthCon­nex tun­nel for the next fi­nan­cial year. Once com­pleted, the tun­nel will take ap­prox­i­mately 5,000 trucks off the road and ease traf­fic con­ges­tion along Pen­nant Hills Road. Those trav­el­ling through the tun­nel will avoid 21 sets of traf­fic lights and take 15 min­utes off their travel time. The State Govern­ment has com­mit­ted mil­lions of dol­lars across the state to im­prove NSW roads. I be­lieve this in­vest­ment in our area will ben­e­fit not just those who travel along Pen­nant Hills Road, but also the com­mu­nity in the sur­round­ing ar­eas.

More than 7kms has al­ready been dug and they cur­rently have 19 mas­sive road­head­ers work­ing to dig along the route. NorthCon­nex has re­cently launched a very use­ful in­ter­ac­tive map on their web­site which shows the lo­ca­tion of the road­head­ers, which parts of the tun­nel have al­ready been dug and pro­jec­tions of the tun­nelling over the next 30 days. This is a great tool for those liv­ing around the tun­nel to see progress. I was also pleased to see the Men’s Shed has part­nered with NorthCon­nex to build 72 cus­tom-de­signed boxes for pos­sums, bats and birds. With the tun­nel con­struc­tion, there is some nec­es­sary tree re­moval and this will pro­vide re­place­ment homes for na­tive an­i­mals.

Another of the great ben­e­fits from NorthCon­nex will be what’s hap­pen­ing at Hornsby Quarry. The Bud­get saw $8.2 mil­lion set aside for the road trans­fer of spoil to the Hornsby Quarry. Spoil will be taken from the tun­nel site to the Hornsby Quarry and loaded onto a spe­cially de­signed con­veyor sys­tem. They will de­liver up to 1 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of spoil to Hornsby Quarry with it ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2019.

Once filled the Quarry will then be turned over to coun­cil to be trans­formed into park­lands. With ideas al­ready flow­ing into coun­cil it will be amaz­ing to have a recre­ational area right on the door of the Hornsby CBD. There are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties for coun­cil to de­velop this vast amount of space. To fill the Hornsby Quarry has seemed like an im­pos­si­ble task for so many years and usu­ally the spoil from tun­nels such as NorthCon­nex would be sold. I saw this as a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity to use the spoil which would oth­er­wise be sold to ben­e­fit our com­mu­nity.

This is a project which has a long-term goal, but I be­lieve the out­come will far out­weigh the work we have ahead. The first spoil de­liv­ery is ex­pected to hap­pen soon and I will keep res­i­dents up­dated on the progress of both pro­jects. Please don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact my of­fice if you have any ques­tions about the Hornsby Quarry. Also jump on the NorthCon­nex web­site and check out the in­ter­ac­tive map and fol­low the tun­nel’s progress.

A sec­tion of the 7 km of NorthCon­nex Tun­nel al­ready ex­ca­vated

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