Opened on 31st October 2020, NorthConnex connects the M1 Motorway in Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway by twin nine kilometre tunnels. Information on the project can be found on the NorthConnex website at www.northconnex.com.au. We recommend watching these driver education videos before making your first trip through the tunnel.
An Air Quality Community Consultative Committee (AQCCC) comprising representatives from Transurban, local Councils and the community has been formed to oversee air quality monitoring, compliance, reporting, complaints etc, and will operate for two years from commencement of operation. In tunnel and ventilation outlet air quality are being independently monitored. The ventilation outlet limits will be reviewed on a five-yearly basis and may be lowered (made more stringent) if vehicle fleet emissions improve. Links to information on air quality and the meeting minutes for the AQCCC can be found here
At 12 months, and 5 years, after the commencement of operation, there is to be a review of traffic impacts on the adjoining road network. This process may be delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19.
A Brief History of the Project
In May 2013, the NSW government announced that the unsolicited proposal from Transurban would progress to detailed planning and development, including planning approval and community consultation. In July 2014, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) went on public exhibition. The main objections from WPH residents focussed on the unfiltered smoke stack in WPH, increased traffic through WPH during construction and operation, and further widening of the M2 (earlier widening had only just been completed) and lack of a direct connection to the M2 eastbound from the southbound tunnel. Read the submission from WPHVPA.
Approval for the construction and operation of NorthConnex was granted on 15th January 2015. The full conditions of approval can be found on the NorthConnex website, but a summary of the conditions affecting WPH can be read here. The southern smoke stack remains unfiltered and the likely effects of pollution can be seen on this map.
Tunnel construction started in January 2015 and the project was completed in October 2020.