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Mona Vale Rd East upgrade to kickstart inside 12 months

Delivery of the new Mona Vale Road East upgrade is scheduled in 2020 following the State Government’s budget confirmation of full funding for the project and the announcement of the tender process which will see the successful contractor jackhammer the first piece of tar within 12 months.

The announcement of $150 million for the East section will be welcomed by peak-hour commuters left frustrated by the choking traffic heading in and out of Pittwater via the western arterial road.

The announcement is the culmination of six years of planning and essential preliminary works which have included geotechnical and sensitive environmental studies, plus planning approvals and design refinements as well as changes to State Park boundaries.

Pittwater MP Rob Stokes said expenditure for the East project in the State Government’s 2017/18 Budget totalled $17.5 million – but more importantly the balance of funds had been provided in forward estimates.

Key features of the 3.2km eastern section, between Foley Street at Mona Vale to Manor Road at Ingleside, include the upgrade from a two-lane undivided road (one lane in each direction) to a four-lane dived road (two lanes each direction).

Provision has also been made for a heavy vehicle arrester bed, central concrete median divider, additional lanes for climbing and descending, improved wildlife connectivity and a signalised intersection at Ponderosa Pde.

Additional funding has also been allocated to complete preliminary works for the western section of the project.

“Confirmation of construction funding is fantastic news,” Mr Stokes said. “With the planning works completed, we’re now able to proceed to the construction phase, with the successful contractor expected to commence before July 2018.”

Mr Stokes added that an ad-ditional $2 million had been set aside to introduce traffic flow improvements at the intersec-tion of Mona Vale Road and Forest Way at Terrey Hills.

“This separate ‘Pinch Point’ project includes the construc-tion of a third westbound lane on Mona Vale Road to help reduce congestion,” he said.

The complementary project would include road widening, additional lanes and extending turning bays.

However, not everyone is happy with the details and funding of the East upgrade, with outspoken Mona Vale resident Mark Horton calling it “a job done on the cheap”.

“Compare this to the addition of $137 million for the Warringah Road upgrade which has already attracted $500 million-plus and you get an idea of the low priority,” he said.

“There will still be that steep climb as better, more expensive, options were never intended. And road works will follow the existing corridor and not involve separation, as in the Terrey Hills to St Ives stretch.

“It is claimed that the upgrade is because of the accidents and deaths on that stretch. The real reason is to improve road access between Mona Vale and the planned Ingleside development. Why nothing for the Wakehurst Parkway access to the new hospital?”
Mr Horton added: “Thankfully safety concerns have been addressed with the inclusion of a sand-and-gravel arrestor pit.”

– Nigel Wall

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