EIS findings - NSW Government

August 2014
• Process of approval
– State Significance Infrastructure Application
– Director General provides environmental assessment
– Preparation of EIS
– Department of Planning and Environment reviews EIS
– Public exhibition of EIS
– Department of Planning and Environment sends submissions to
– RMS prepares a submissions report
– Department of Planning and Environment prepares assessment
– Minister for Planning decides to approve the project and
conditions of approval
About NorthConnex
In 2012, the NSW Government
received an unsolicited proposal
from Transurban and the Westlink
M7 Shareholders to design,
construct, operate, maintain and
finance the NorthConnex project
The unsolicited proposal process
provides the opportunity for
NorthConnex to be delivered in a
manner that offers value for money
to Government and built much
earlier by the private sector for the
benefit of the NSW community
About NorthConnex
• NorthConnex would link Sydney's north to the Orbital road network
and form part of the National Highway route. It comprises of:
– Twin nine-kilometre long tunnels (built for 3 lanes, marked for 2)
– A southern interchange at the Hills M2 Motorway/Pennant Hills Road
– A northern interchange at the M1 Pacific Motorway/Pennant Hills Road
– Tie-in work on the M1 Pacific Motorway and integration work on the Hills
M2 Motorway
– Ventilation outlets at the southern and northern interchange
– Two mid-tunnel support facilities
– A motorway control-centre at the southern interchange
– Provision for future east facing connections to the Hills M2 Motorway
Stakeholder issues
• During the engagement activities the following issues have been
raised by stakeholders:
– Air quality
– Noise and vibration
– Property values and acquisitions
– Outlet and portal locations
– Health impacts
– Local road disruption
Northern outlet location
Northern ventilation outlet –
within M1 Pacific Motorway
road corridor
Air quality
• Sydney has very good air quality
• Total exhaust emissions from motor vehicles have decreased over the past
two decades and are expected to continue to fall
• An air quality assessment was carried out in accordance with the
Approved Methods for the Modelling and Assessment of Air Pollutants
(approved Methods) (DEC, 2005a)
What does this mean?
Wood fires are by far the
largest single source of
particles from human activity
In comparison heavy vehicle
and light duty diesel exhaust
contribute 5.3 and 2.2 per cent
Petrol vehicles’ exhaust
emissions contribute less than
one per cent
Human made particulate matter PM2.5 sources in Sydney
Source: Air emissions inventory for the Greater Metropolitan Region in NSW 2008 calendar year (EPA, 2012)
EIS findings – Air quality
Any changes in air quality are well below the established
criteria for all key pollutants
Modelling predicts an improvement of air quality along
Pennant Hills Road
Emissions from the northern and southern ventilation outlets
would have a very small impact on local air quality
In-tunnel visibility is predicted to be to be a ‘clear air tunnel’
under PIARC guidelines
Analysis demonstrates that in-tunnel visibility would be better
than current and historical performance of the M5 East
24-hour average PM2.5 in 2029
The air quality assessment concluded that across the
project corridor there would be an overall net
improvement in air quality as a result of NorthConnex
EIS findings – Air quality
• Air quality in the vicinity of the project would be monitored for a specified
time following opening
• Air quality within the tunnels would be monitored to ensure in-tunnel air
quality is maintained
EIS findings – Health
• The health assessments included conservative assumptions. The air
quality changes due to the ventilation outlets is negligible
• The calculated health effect is much smaller than the natural
variability and would be undetectable
• The assessment concluded that potential health impacts are
essentially negligible near the ventilation outlets
• Overall, taking a significant number of vehicles, in particular trucks off
Pennant Hills Road, and managing emissions through the tunnel
ventilation system, would lead to a net benefit to health within the
EIS findings - Health
The calculated net benefit of the NorthConnex project is 10 times larger than
the very small health risk of the ventilation outlets, with air quality on Pennant
Hills Road likely to improve by up to 38%
The ventilation outlets do not present a measurable health risk to any
members of the community including young children, the elderly and
individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
EIS findings
Secondary health impacts
Changes in bronchodilator use (eg asthmatics):
– Southern ventilation outlet only – increase of 0.07 days per year
– Northern ventilation outlet only – increase of 0.1 days per year
Net impact of NorthConnex is positive, with a reduction of between 0.08
and 0.1 days per year
EIS findings - Traffic
Existing and future Pennant Hills Road conditions
Pennant Hills Road currently carries up to 80,000 vehicles per day.
Thirteen major intersections along the NorthConnex corridor: of these three
are currently rated as highly congested, and four are susceptible to
decreases in performance from a small growth in traffic demand
Without NorthConnex most intersections are predicted to be highly
congested by 2019, and all but one by 2029
EIS findings - Traffic
Construction phase – traffic impact
• Daily vehicle movements associated with the construction phase:
– Pennant Hills Road - 2,675 heavy and 1,240 light vehicles
– M2 Hills Motorway - 686 heavy and 115 light vehicles
– Heavy congestion is expected to continue on Pennant Hills Rd during
Note: one vehicle entering and then exiting the worksite is considered to be two vehicle
EIS findings - Traffic (construction)
• Most construction traffic would be from the four worksites.
• Vehicle movements from these worksites would occur up to 24 hours
a day, seven days a week during peak construction tunnelling work
• A Traffic Management Plan would be developed to minimise the
impact of construction vehicles on existing traffic.
• The Project team would work closely with impacted residents and
businesses to identify appropriate management strategies to
minimise impact.
Northern interchange traffic movements
per day
Heavy vehicle
Light vehicle
*One vehicle entering
and the exiting the site is
considered two
Compound sites
EIS findings - Traffic (operational)
Traffic has been assessed for an expected opening year in 2019 and a future
year of 2029.
The project will deliver general improvements in the performance of Pennant
Hills Road particularly in 2019.
Regulations will be implemented to ensure through trucks use the tunnel
rather than Pennant Hills Road
Opportunities to further alleviate peak congestion on Pennant Hills Road
(over and above the NorthConnex project) are under development to assist
with the expected traffic volumes anticipated across Sydney by 2029.
EIS – noise and vibration (construction)
• A detailed noise and vibration assessment has been carried out
• Where possible, construction would take place during standard
construction hours to minimise impacts
• Acoustic treatments used at worksites to further mitigate noise levels
• Respite measures would be identified for affected residents
EIS – noise and vibration (tunneling )
• Conservative assessment concludes tunnelling work may exceed
night time ground-borne noise goals (up 10dBA above) at up to 90
properties (not all at once and for short periods) spread over various
stages of work
• Impact is short term (around one week) based on tunnelling rates
• Respite and Relocation Protocol would be developed to assist
residents unduly affected by construction noise and vibration
• Pre-construction condition surveys will be offered to all properties and
structures within 50 metres from the outer edge of the tunnels or within
50 metres of surface work
EIS – noise and vibration (operational)
• Measures would be put in place to mitigate predicted 2029 operational
traffic noise levels
• Low-noise pavement design to minimise noise levels
• Noise monitoring would be carried out once operational to validate
impacts and mitigation measures
• 10 existing noise walls would be replaced and the height of two walls
will be extended
• New noise walls will be erected and a range of architectural acoustic
treatments proposed
• 129 properties eligible for architectural acoustic treatments
(82 at the northern interchange and 47 at southern interchange/Hills
M2 integration work).
Key design elements (Lessons Learnt)
NorthConnex is considerably higher than the M5 tunnel (5.3m versus 4.6m) – this
assists with air circulation and dilution of emissions providing a better in tunnel
NorthConnex will be wider (built for three lanes marked for two) - this assists with
air circulation and dilution of emissions providing a better in tunnel experience
Unlike M5, the ventilation system for NorthConnex will not re-circulate air from
one tunnel to another
Gradient out of the tunnel is shorter and less steep than M5 reducing incidents of
slow moving, labouring trucks which produce significantly higher emissions.
Exit from tunnel is motorway to motorway minimising queuing within the tunnel
Smoky vehicle camera installed from Day 1 acting as effective deterrent to stop
defective trucks using the tunnel – this has been successful on M5.
EIS findings – Safety and amenity
Major benefits
Using NorthConnex rather than Pennant Hills Road, drivers would be
FIVE times less likely to be involved in a crash and about FOUR times
less likely to be involved in an injury crash
Time savings for commuters, tradesmen and heavy vehicle operators
Fuel savings for heavy vehicle operators
Productivity improvements for the state and Eastern seaboard
Quality of life improvements from time savings and avoidance of up to
21 sets of traffic lights
Net reduction in emissions for residents living and working on Pennant
Hills Road
Removal of heavy vehicles from surface roads
Return of local streets to local residents
Timeline for construction
*Subject to approvals and may change.
Council focus is on northern portal area of the project
Location of ventilation stacks
Number of ventilation stacks
Concentration of pollutants
Vibration issues with tunnel work
Tunnelling under houses
Construction traffic issues and impact on local roads
Possible heritage impacts
Biodiversity impacts
Noise impacts – height of noise walls
Purchase of properties

similar documents