Sydney tunnel
Sydney tunnel

Riders breathe easier in new Sydney tunnel

The “next gen” in road tunnels recently opened in northern Sydney with the NorthConnex tunnel boasting cleaner air for motorcycle riders.

The tunnel links the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at West Pennant Hills in Sydney’s north. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the 9km tunnel as “one of the most significant and eagerly anticipated road infrastructure projects ever delivered in Australia”.

Riders have long complained about exhaust fumes in road tunnels, especially when traffic grinds to a halt.

It’s a long-term health hazard!

Not quite as bad as having a mattress fall off in front of you as this rider found in a Brisbane tunnel.

However, commuting to work and breathing in exhaust fumes every day in a confined tunnel can have a significant impact on riders’ long-term health.

However, Transurban says the NorthConnex twin tunnel will improve Pennants Hill congestion, safety, traffic noise and air quality.

More importantly for riders, it features the latest ventilation systems that meet some of the most stringent standards in the world for operational in-tunnel air quality, says a company spokesperson.

The higher and wider tunnel design enables greater volumes of fresh air to move through the tunnel minimising the potential for emissions to build up and the gentle gradient allowing vehicles maintain consistent speeds reducing vehicle emissions,” she says.

The tunnel has 142 roof mounted jet fans to push air through the tunnel, complementing the natural air flow generated by vehicles, pushing air into the tunnel in a “piston effect” and providing more airflow when traffic flow is slow.

As part of the Conditions of Approval, the in-tunnel and ventilation outlet air quality has been monitored and reported since NorthConnex opened to traffic last month. 

If you are still concerned with the air you great in the tunnel you can see the live air quality data here.

NorthConnex operations and maintenance team monitor the tunnel 24/7 with 850 CCTV cameras with 100% coverage so any incidents or issues are acted on immediately.

“Drivers and riders have been quick to embrace Sydney’s newest tunnel, and we’re seeing traffic flow well in and around Sydney’s newest tunnel,” the spokesperson says.

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