SYDNEY, May 16 (Xinhua/Big News Network) — The Australian state government of New South Wales (NSW) has pledged to build what will be the country’s longest road tunnel to run through the Blue Mountains in western Sydney. edge.
The proposal confirms an 11km toll-free tunnel, from Blackheath to Little Hartlye, and promises to reduce journey times by up to 30 minutes.
“This is a historic legacy project that will provide safer and more efficient travel for locals, tourists and freight travel between the Midwest and the East Coast,” said NSW Deputy Premier and Regional Minister, Paul Toole (in the center of the image).
He said the tunnel would reduce congestion and improve security for premises, and allow easier access for cargo being delivered in the rural center of the state.
The tunnel would traverse a series of mountains with two lanes in each direction, providing an alternative to existing steep and winding roads.
The Blue Mountains are home to Australia’s most visited national park. Before the pandemic, the park received approximately 4 million visitors per year, according to a report by the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise.
NSW Roads and Regional Transport Minister Sam Farraway (pictured above right) said the Blue Mountains Tunnel would help connect Sydney to western NSW while time, it would boost tourism and population growth in the region.
“The straighter alignment will improve road safety through the mountains and the tunnel will help unlock the potential of western NSW, benefiting all residents and businesses in this important part of the state.”
Construction of the tunnel will begin early next year. The NSW Government is due to hold a series of information sessions for local residents in May and will then hold formal consultations with community stakeholders.