June 23 - 29, 2024: Issue 629


Mona Vale Road East Upgrade: The Final Pictorial update - June 2024 + Mona Vale Road West project has $5.5million allocation in 2024-25 NSW Budget

The 2024-2025 NSW Budget has announced a $5.5 million allocation towards the Mona Vale Road West project, McCarrs Creek Road to Powder Works Road.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson confirmed on Friday June 21:

''The budget allocation for the Mona Vale Road West upgrade is for Transport for NSW to continue finalising the detailed design to support future delivery of the project. 

The Mona Vale Road East upgrade project includes the construction of a 950-metre long embankment on the northern side of the road next to Tumburra Street at Ingleside. This road embankment will be landscaped to minimise soil erosion in preparation for any future Mona Vale Road West upgrade.''

Also allocated under the Infrastructure 'Connecting Sydney Roads - Upgrading the Sydney road network to support population and employment growth in Sydney. Key projects include:

  • $72.4 million for Wakehurst Parkway with 2024-24 allocation being $7.903 million
  • Warringah Freeway Upgrade - Continuing upgrades of the Warringah Freeway for surface roads, bridges and interchanges along 4 kilometres of the freeway corridor, which started in early 2022. Estimated total cost: $2.0 billion. Expenditure over four years to 2027-28; $788.0 million

In the 2023 PON updates a Transport for NSW Spokesperson stated to Pittwater Online;

''Earlier this year, the NSW Government undertook an independent review of the state’s infrastructure pipeline, tasked with identifying projects and programs that should no longer proceed, be delayed or have their scope altered. As a result of this review, the Mona Vale Road West project has been deferred for two years. 

Transport for NSW remains committed to the delivery of this project. ''

On November 8 2023 Infrastructure NSW released the updated NSW Major Infrastructure Pipeline and the 2023-2024 State Infrastructure PlanThe 2023-2024 State Infrastructure Plan outlines drivers and market context for the NSW Government’s infrastructure program over the next five years. It provides project specific information to support transparency to industry via the NSW Major Infrastructure Pipeline.  

The Mona Vale Road West upgrade project was deferred for two years following the 2023 NSW Independent Strategic Infrastructure Review. 

Listed on page 21 of the 2023-2024 State Infrastructure Plan document is the Mona Vale Road West upgrade, McCarrs Creek Road to Powder Works Road showing Procurement will commence in the final Quarter of 2025 and be completed in the first Quarter of 2026, with Construction of the works to commence in the second Quarter of 2026 and be completed by the second Quarter of 2029 (estimated completion dates).

As part of the works, the contractors have also been constructing a new road formation along the northern side of Mona Vale Road next to Tumburra Street at Ingleside - referred to by locals as 'the piles of dust'.

As confirmed above, part of the 2024-25 allocation, once the earthworks are complete, the area will be bitumen sealed and vegetation planted to minimise soil erosion. These early works form part of the next stage of the Mona Vale Road West upgrade and will prevent runoff into the adjacent Garigal park areas, local creeks and Narrabeen Lagoon.

This photo from the last Pictorial update on the MVR East upgrade, taken at the end of May 2024, shows those works have progressed:

The good news is that the Mona Vale Road East project has been largely completed and made available, from Thursday, March 28, 2024, an additional lane in each direction between Manor Road, Ingleside and Foley Street, Mona Vale, with new widened shoulders and median separation.

“We’re excited to be opening the Mona Vale Road East upgrade to traffic in time for Easter,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said then.

“As a steep road corridor often used by heavy vehicles, the move to two lanes in each direction on this part of Mona Vale Road gives drivers safer opportunities to overtake.

“This vital road corridor upgrade will improve journeys for thousands of motorists each day in this part of northern Sydney.”

A new signalised intersection, in place of a roundabout at Ponderosa Parade and Samuel Street, was also part of the upgrade along the 3.2-kilometre stretch of Mona Vale Road.

A 60km/h speed limit has remained in place while work continues to complete the new emergency truck arrestor bed, as well as fencing and landscaping work.

Some of this landscaping was planting out Sydney's first overpass fauna bridge.

Transport for NSW thanks motorists for their patience during this time.

Then Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced on November 2nd 2018 the NSW Government had awarded the construction contract for the upgrade of Mona Vale Road East.

The then slated to cost $140 million project, between Foley Street at Mona Vale and Manor Road at Ingleside, involved building additional climbing and descending lanes to improve travel times, and the introduction of median separation and a heavy vehicle arrester bed to help address the road’s tragic crash history.

The contract was awarded to Georgiou Group Pty Ltd and onsite works were expected to commence in February 2019, after the Summer holiday period. The project was expected to be completed in 2022. 

The total cost for the MVR East project is stated to be over $250 million  - as per the previous Coalition Government announced in June 2022 as part of its Budget allocations;

  • $340 million over the next 4 years to upgrade Mona Vale Road WestWork on the $250 million Mona Vale Road East project is expected to be completed within the next 12 months. 
  • $11 million to continue upgrading Mona Vale Public School (total project cost $52.8 million).
  • $15.5 million to commence the upgrade of the Narrabeen Education Campus (total cost subject to tender).
  • $40 million for safety and capacity improvements on Wakehurst Parkway (total project cost $150 million over next 3 years).
  • $2.4 million for the construction of a dedicated pedestrian/cycling link between Newport Beach and Bilgola Beach.
  • $1.09 million for ongoing campus configuration improvements at Mona Vale Hospital.

The $100+ million increase in costs can be attributed in part to the increase in costs of all construction post-Covid, see; Increases In Building Materials Costs Adds Pressure To Fixed Price Contracts - Construction Industry and may even be costs associated with modifying the Truck Arrestor bedHowever, this significant cost increase has never been officially explained in any detail. 

The signage that was installed when the project commenced, and is still in place as of June 2024, continues to state the project cost is $140 million:

Below runs what will be the final Mona Vale Road East upgrade pictorial - for the records - running from near the turnoff to Kimbriki tip at Ingleside to the eats and Mona Vale.

One aspect noticed during these quarterly updates over the past six years is the reduction in images run from those first pictorials for the record to those run in this last pictorial. Although this is due in part to less works being done to make a record of, it is also a sign that although the upgraded road follows the same old footprint of the Mona Vale Road East sections, those sections are definitely smoother and faster, even at the same speed limit.

The MVR East Upgrade 'making a pictorial record' series has provided a platform for community discussion that has included calling for modification to the truck arrestor part of the project, putting on record pollution running into creeks that fed into Warriewood, Narrabeen and Bayview, a suggestion the noise reduction walls become a mural with a celebration of welcoming all to Pittwater to prevent graffiti, although the new Minister for Transport has advised a graffiti-proof paint was the chosen option, and even answering a call from Pittwater Online's youngest Readers, the 3 to 11 year olds, for some details about The Machines Helping Build The Road (June 2020 editions).

Along with apprehension among residents that the building of a wider faster road means more people crowded onto already full roads as, as one resident put it this week;

''The Mona Vale road and Wakehurst Parkway upgrades have always been about cramming in more people and never about current residents. I have never understood why people have been so eager for these upgrades.

Councils' merger and the creation of our greater Warringah Council was all part of the plan.

Dee Why in Pittwater.''

The celebratory Mona Vale Road history page that ran when works commenced also runs this Issue as an extra look into how much this road TO Pittwater has changed over the century and more the 'Road to Lane Cove' and 'Road to Gordon' has connected our part of the eastern seaboard with all points west.

previous reports