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Transurban offers to build F3-M2 road tunnel in Sydney
20/07/2012 - Toll road giant Transurban has offered to build a tunnel in Sydney's north connecting the F3 freeway with the M2 motorway.
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NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay says a cost has not yet been attached to the proposal to build an eight-kilometre tunnel under Pennant Hills Road from Wahroonga on the north shore to West Pennant Hills.
It would enable a faster journey between Sydney and the NSW Central Coast and Newcastle, especially during peak hour.
Gay says the infrastructure sub-committee of cabinet has decided to progress the idea to stage two of a three-stage process.
This means the government will spend six months considering the community benefit and cost of the project before possibly proceeding to the final stage of locking in a contract price.
The minister says the government is in the early stages of negotiation with Transurban, but the eventual project is likely to be a toll road funded by the private sector.
"Certainly it's something we'd be looking at with a toll and a minimum of government money," Gay told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
"We are very early in this process: we are not building up hopes on anything."
Gay said while he was "keen as hell" about the prospect of a missing Sydney road link being built, it was far from being a certainty.
"There is probably only a 50:50 chance on this but if we can work to make it better than 50:50, we certainly would," he said.
"We think it's worthwhile and, certainly as the minister that will be doing the co-ordination, I'll be doing my best to try and make sure it happens."
The unsolicited offer from Transurban to build the road link comes two months before Infrastructure NSW is due to release a 20-year priority list of major road links in Sydney.
Gay declined to say if the M4 East connecting the city with Sydney's west was more important.
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Ron Hicks | 20/07/2012 10:39 1
How much will it cost to get only ONE EXTRA lane each way? The F3 is already over capacity and at risk by bushfire, accidents etc. This political'fix' will only shift roadblocks 8km further. A Much better and cheaper alternative is to join the F3 near Kariong to the F7 near Blacktown.(As recommended by the Pearlman Review)
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