Wednesday, July 25, 2012

M2-F3 Tunnel Link

Transurban has offered to build a tunnel under Pennant Hills Road connecting the F3 at Wahroonga with the M2 at West Pennant Hills.  Roads Minister Duncan Gay says the cost of this has yet to be determined.  "The government would consider the community benefit of the tunnel over the next six months."

The BCCT is firmly of the view that the funding for this project and the Third Rail Northern Freight Rail Corridor project should be combined and put toward the only long term proposal that anyone has considered, "The Northern Solution" of a new road and rail link from Kariong across the Hawkesbury and down to the M7 at Dean Park.  This was Option C in the Federal Government's study in 2002.  In that study, Option A was selected, pretty much what is now proposed, because it was cheaper than Option C - estimated costs c$2B for Option A and $3.6B for Option C in 2003 dollars.

Of course that version of Option C didn't include the rail link, but doing the road and rail link together would enormously reduce the costs of land acquistion, bridge building, and so on, where the terrain allows the two to run together.

The one thing that seems clear is that Option A for trucks and the NRFC third (and possibly fourth) rail for freight trains remain frought with long term problems including pollution and noise, as well as concentrating all the inter-state traffic (that should be going around our city) in perpetuity.  After building Option A and the NRFC, it seems improbable that future politicians would ever build the proper solution to the state's traffic and rail freight problems.

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