Pennant Hills tunnel progressing

The prospect of a tunnel bypassing the Pennant Hills Road and connecting the F3 to the M2 in Sydney's North is getting closer.

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay said progress had been made on the F3-M2 proposal with the Government submitting a report to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure outlining the project objectives and potential environmental issues.

“A State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) application report has been prepared in line with NSW planning requirements which describes the proposed project, identifies the potential environmental issues to be assessed,” said Gay. “This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in NSW and significant effort is being put into ensuring impacts are minimised, should the project proceed.

“In 2012, Transurban and the Westlink M7 shareholders approached the NSW Government with an unsolicited proposal to design, build, operate, maintain and finance a motorway linking the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga with the Hills M2 at West Pennant Hills.”

The NSW Government has committed $405 million for the project, with matching funding from the Federal Government. Nationals’ Federal Leader and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss confirmed the newly elected Coalition would honour this commitment.

“A lot has happened on this project in the past few months,” said Gay. “In August a request for tender was issued to a shortlist of three consortia for the design and construction of the project. The tenderers have been asked to develop the design, systems and services based on performance requirements and must come in under $2.65 billion. The tenderers must also ensure the design minimises and mitigates any potential environmental impact.

“Final tenders are due at the end of November 2013 and once they have been received the design will be used in the Environmental Impact Statement which will go on public display in early 2014. If approved, the proposed link will be jointly funded by Transurban, Westlink M7 shareholders, the NSW Government and Federal Government and would include tolls.

“The project would deliver a high standard motorway which integrates with the regional transport network and would remove a high volume of heavy vehicles from Pennant Hills Road.”

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