Despite setbacks, including discovery of illegally dumped asbestos, construction on the Mona Vale Road East project has reached a major milestone and is now two-thirds complete.

It is the largest road construction project currently underway on the Northern Beaches, upgrading the eastern section of Mona Vale Road to dual carriageway from Foley Street, Mona Vale, near Pittwater RSL up to Manor Road, Ingleside, near the Baha’i House of Worship.

A second phase of the project, for the western section beyond the Bahai Temple to existing dual carriageway at Terrey Hills, was approved and had funding committed in this year’s state budget. Once complete, total investment in the Mona Vale Road upgrade will be $600m.

Natalie Ward and Rob Stokes inspect Mona Vale Road upgrade works

This morning (Thursday, 06 October), NSW Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward met with Pittwater MP and Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes at the construction site at Ingleside to meet with the construction team and inspect progress.

Minister Ward, a Northern Beaches resident, who on Tuesday (04 October) announced her intention to move from the NSW Upper House to the Lower House seat of Davidson at the next election in March 2023, said the upgrade would provide a safer, more reliable and faster travel experience for commuters and local businesses.

Natalie Ward

Natalie Ward

“Mona Vale Road is transforming from a pinch point to a smooth and safe roadway that will save commuters valuable time into the future.

“We are now 65 percent complete in total works required for the Mona Vale Road East upgrade. Around 168,000m³ of material has been excavated – the equivalent of 67 Olympic swimming pools – and more than four football fields of asphalt has been laid,” said Minister Ward.

Natalie Ward and Rob Stokes inspect Mona Vale Road upgrade works

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes, who last week announced he would not be standing for re-election next March, said the project is on track to be completed by the end of 2023, weather permitting.

Rob Stokes

Rob Stokes

“This project has been challenged by wild weather and torrential rain that has impacted the Northern Beaches throughout this year.

“The NSW Government is doing everything it can to ensure work is safe and streamlined and we thank the public for their patience as this crucial upgrade takes place.

“The Mona Vale Road East upgrade will increase the 3.2km two-lane stretch to a four-lane divided carriageway between Manor Road, Ingleside, and Foley Street, Mona Vale, improving safety and traffic efficiency.

“The project includes the biggest fauna overpass in the Greater Sydney area, which has been designed to allow the safe crossing of fauna, including wallabies, echidnas, wombats and possums,” said Minister Stokes.

Natalie Ward and Rob Stokes inspect Mona Vale Road upgrade works

The irony of the site visit occurring on a morning the Northern Beaches was subject to a storm and flood warning was not lost on those present. With a second La Niña year resulting in higher than average rainfall forecasts, staff at the site said weather could have an impact on the completion date.

According to construction workers, the engineering had held up well and there had been no landslips in the construction area, although torrential rain had at times washed away some topsoil. The impact they said was not limited to the days it rained, but also the days following where water run off impacted the ability to work in the terrain.

The project ran into significant early delays when the project team made the shocking discovery of illegal dumping of large quantities of asbestos along the sides of Mona Vale Road at Ingleside. The dumping had occurred over decades, making safe removal extremely problematic as tree roots had grown through the dumped material.

Surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic allowed the project to get back on track, permitting road closures due to the Northern Beaches lockdowns that would have otherwise been impossible. A year of wet weather has reintroduced some delays, but at this point completion is still on track for the end of next year.

Artists impression of Mona Vale Road and Samual Street traffic lights - Transport for NSW

Despite some concerns from residents the dangerous roundabout at the intersection of Ponderosa Parade and Samuel Street might remain, it has been confirmed the intersection will be upgraded to include traffic lights. Local residents had complained that pedestrians were unable to safely cross Mona Vale Road, and traffic trying to enter Mona Vale Road was often backing up.

For information and updates on the Mona Vale Road upgrade, visit the Transport for NSW website which contains project documents about both the east and west sections of the work.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate, Transport for NSW (artist impression)

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