Lane Cove Tunnel Falls Apart?

Topic: Roads and Traffic 14 years, 9 months ago

According to all the major media sources this morning, residents living in a block of units near the Longueville Rd northbound exit to Pacific Hwy were woken up at about 02:30 this morning to discover their units were disappearing into a huge gaping hole in the ground and had to be evacuated. Thankfully the building didn’t collapse entirely and no lives were lost.

Originally 4 m wide and 8-10 m deep, the hole has now grown beyond 10 m wide and continues to widen. The cause is yet to be verified, but there is a ventilation shaft for the under-construction Lane Cove Tunnel 25 m below the building. A Sydney Water main at the location burst at the same time, but it is thought the hole caused the water main to burst, not the other way round.

overhead view of hole and damaged unit block
Overhead view of the 10 m x 10 m hole (source: ABC News)

Epping Rd citybound has been closed east of Centennial Ave and chaos has ensued this morning, with all traffic diverted via Centennial Ave and Mowbray Rd to the Pacific Hwy. I’d recommend travelling via Marsden Rd or Lane Cove Rd to get to Victoria Rd instead, bypassing the affected area entirely.

Buses services have been reported running over a hour late into the City. Some Hillsbus M2 services have ran via Burns Bay Rd and Victoria Rd to the City, while others have taken the Mowbray Rd detour along with Sydney Buses services.

Luckily the westbound lanes on Epping Rd are still open for the afternoon peak, but there are concerns the hole could spread across all of Longueville Rd… this doesn’t look good for commuters from the north-west and Hills district at all!

The Lane Cove Tunnel toll road will eventually run under Longueville Rd and this building connecting the M2 Motorway and the Gore Hill Fwy. The tunnel operators issued a statement this morning blaming the collapse on “rock slippage”.

part of a block of flats that collapsed after a large hole opened
Block of units damaged by the hole (credit: Nick Moir; source: SMH)

There has been an incentive for all the toll road projects recent completed or under construction in Sydney to be completed early, and to start collecting tolls ahead of schedule, increasing revenues. I wonder if safety has been compromised in an attempt to speed up construction? Or maybe the LCT operators have simply been negligent in assessing the area’s geological stability?

Thos more cynical might have wished it was the controversial Cross City Tunnel that collapsed… or maybe just comment that Lane Cove has always been a hole anyway. Look, even a resident agrees, according to ABC News! ;)

One local resident, Grant Phillip, says he is not particularly concerned about the possibility of his apartment falling into the hole.

“I’m actually fairly happy, it’s been a bit of a nightmare since bought the place, so it’s probably the best thing that could happen if it falls into a hole,” he said.

The funniest comment I’ve yet heard, posted on the SMH website by “jason”, sums up Sydney’s latest toll road debacle nicely:

If the units fall into the hole without an e-tag, will they be fined?

SMH: Gridlock as highway ramp collapses
SMH: Crews battle to stop units collapsing
ABC News: Tunnel builder reassures Sydney residents over hole
ABC News: Iemma flags compensation to unit block residents
RTA Sydney North Traffic Reports
Sydney Buses Breaking News
Discussion at the Australian Transport Discussion Board

MTR to Run Advertising Trains Me? COFA SA El Presidente?

2 Comments Add your own

  • . Nicholas Gruen  |  14 years, 8 months ago

    I made a comment on an earlier post and assumed from what it says here that it was the only time I’d have to confirm with an emai. But it seems I have to do it every time?

  • . Stephen Mok  |  14 years, 8 months ago

    Hmm… looks like it’s broken! :(

    [Update: Or not? It looks like it works if you use the same name/email address combination. It looks like specifying a different website doesn't matter. But what about IP address? I'll do some more investigations later...]

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