Frequently asked questions - Hornsby Quarry


Project overview

NorthConnex is a nine kilometre tunnel that will link the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at West Pennant Hills. Transport for NSW has managed the beneficial reuse of NorthConnex spoil to partially fill Hornsby Quarry.

Project background

What's the Hornsby Quarry Road Construction Spoil Management?

Construction of NorthConnex will produce around 2.6 million cubic metres of spoil. Hornsby Quarry is located west of Hornsby town centre and next to Berowra Valley National Park. Roads and Maritime Services is proposing to handle, manage and beneficially reuse up to 1.5 million cubic metres of spoil from NorthConnex at Hornsby Quarry. The Hornsby Quarry Road Construction Spoil Management project (the project) would partially fill the quarry and help Hornsby Shire Council to rehabilitate the site and provide long term community benefits.

The project would cost around $22 million and would be funded by the NSW and Federal governments and the Hornsby Shire Council. Work would be carried out by the Lendlease Bouygues Joint Venture (LLBJV).

When was the project approved?

The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) approved the project on 18 January 2016. Construction is expected to start in mid 2016 and finish in end 2018, weather permitting.

How is the project being assessed?

The project was assessed as State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) under Part 5.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Project was assessed separately to NorthConnex and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was submitted to NSW Department of Planning and Environment for review followed by approval from the NSW Minister for Planning.

The EIS outlines key features of the project, assesses potential environmental and social impacts and outlines recommended measures to minimise and manage potential impacts. The EIS was on public display from 5 August 2015 to 4 September 2015.

How is the project related to NorthConnex?

The proposal to place spoil from NorthConnex at the Hornsby Quarry was discussed in the NorthConnex Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The NorthConnex EIS identified six potential sites for the management of spoil from NorthConnex. It is proposed that Virgin Excavated Natural Material (VENM) and Excavated Natural Material (ENM) from tunnelling activities for NorthConnex would be handled, managed and beneficially reused at Hornsby Quarry. A separate SSI application and EIS were completed to assess the environmental impacts of the project.

Why was Hornsby Quarry chosen as a spoil management site?

Hornsby Quarry was one of six sites identified in the NorthConnex EIS as having the necessary capacity to receive spoil material generated by the project.

Reusing spoil from NorthConnex at Hornsby Quarry presents an environmentally sustainable use for the spoil.

Partially filling the quarry with spoil from NorthConnex would help Hornsby Shire Council rehabilitate the site for public recreation and provide long-term community benefit.

What is spoil?

Spoil is the term used for material removed from the ground during excavation. NorthConnex will generate significant quantities of clean spoil during excavation of the twin motorway tunnels. Only naturally occurring rock and soil (including materials such as sandstone, shale and clay) excavated from NorthConnex would be used to partially fill Hornsby Quarry.

Roads and Maritime is proposing to only use spoil classified as virgin excavated natural material (VENM) and excavated natural material (ENM) to partially fill Hornsby Quarry.

Would other sites use the quarry?

No, only NorthConnex would have the authority to use the site, no other spoil will be placed in the quarry under this project.

Why are you not completely filling the quarry?

Hornsby Shire Council does not need the quarry site completely filled for their development of the site. About a third of the spoil from NorthConnex will be taken to Hornsby Quarry.

Where is the remaining spoil going?

This material will be going to other approved sites as identified in the NorthConnex EIS.

What material would be received at Hornsby Quarry?

Tunnelling activities for NorthConnex will produce about 2.6 million cubic metres of spoil, including virgin excavated natural material (VENM) and excavated natural material (ENM). Up to 1.5 million cubic metres of the VENM/ENM is proposed to be used at Hornsby Quarry.

What's planned for the site when spoil placement work finish?

The Hornsby Quarry site land is currently zoned RE1 for public recreation and Hornsby Shire Council is committed to rehabilitating the site to allow it to be used for public recreation in the future.


What are the benefits of filling the Hornsby Quarry?

Partially filling the quarry with spoil from NorthConnex would:

  • Support Hornsby Shire Council's plan to rehabilitate the Hornsby Quarry site into a recreational facility for the local and regional community
  • Minimise the overall distances required for transporting the NorthConnex project spoil by around 3.7 million kilometres (based on one million cubic metres of spoil provided to the quarry)
  • Reduce the community's and Hornsby Shire Council's ongoing maintenance cost associated with quarry stabilisation.


What are the planned construction activities?

The project would manage and reuse spoil from the construction of NorthConnex. The project would involve:

  • Site establishment including:
    • Assessing and monitoring quarry wall stability
      • Dewatering the quarry (under Hornsby Shire Council’s existing groundwater licence)
      • Reconfiguring some of the existing Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail and walking tracks
      • Clearing vegetation and establishing erosion and sediment controls
      • Establishing a compound site, security fencing and signage around the construction area
      • Establishing noise mounds about five metres high around key sections of the stockpiling areas
      • Widening of Bridge Road between the Hornsby TAFE and Roper Lane
      • Sealing the existing access track from Bridge Road to Old Mans Valley
      • Temporary closure of Roper Lane at its connection to Bridge Road
      • Constructing a conveyor to transport spoil from the stockpile area at Old Mans Valley to the quarry floor.
    • Hauling spoil by truck from NorthConnex spoil locations to the quarry over a maximum period of 28 months.
    • Stockpiling of the spoil by dozer.
    • Filling the quarry with spoil:
      • A front end loader would place the spoil from the stockpiles onto the conveyer
      • The Conveyor would move the spoil to the edge of the quarry to fall into the quarry
      • Excavators and trucks would move the spoil along the quarry floor and a dozer would spread the material.
    • Site demobilisation and rehabilitation including:
      • Removing the compound and conveyer (apart from foundations)
      • Rehabilitating disturbed areas (e.g. compound area, stockpile areas and conveyer corridor)
      • Removing security fencing and signage from the construction area and reinstating security fencing around the quarry
      • Reinstating public access to areas outside the quarry exclusion zone
      • On completion, handover of the site back to Hornsby Shire Council.

Work activities would occur between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am and 1pm on Saturday.

How long would the project take?

The project is expected to take about 33 months to complete, starting from mid 2016. Spoil haulage is expected to take around 28 months. This time frame is dependent on weather conditions and the progress of NorthConnex. Site demobilisation and rehabilitation would take around three months and is expected to be finished late 2018.

What are the expect construction hours?

All work and haulage associated with spoil management on site would be carried out during standard work hours:

  • 7am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays
  • 8am to 1pm Saturdays
  • No work on Sundays or public holidays

Activities such as delivery of materials or oversized plant to the site, emergency work or equipment maintenance work may occur outside of the above hours.


What routes would the trucks travel on?

The haulage routes to and from the Hornsby Quarry site have been developed in consultation with Hornsby Shire Council, Roads and Maritime and Lendlease Bouygues with the aim of minimising impact on the community and local businesses. These routes would be subject to further investigation as part of detailed design and community consultation.

The spoil would be transported to Hornsby Quarry by heavy vehicles from various NorthConnex construction locations, both north and south of the M1 Pacific Motorway – Pennant Hills Road intersection.

Route to the quarry site

The heavy vehicles would use different haulage routes depending on whether they collect spoil from north or south of the M1 Pacific Motorway – Pennant Hills Road interchange.

Heavy vehicles from south of the M1 Pacific Motorway – Pennant Hills Road intersection would:

  • Travel north along Pennant Hills Road and continue along the Pacific Highway
  • Continue north along Pacific Highway and turn right onto George Street
  • Turn left from George Street onto Bridge Road
  • Travel along Bridge Road into Hornsby Quarry.

Heavy vehicles from north of the M1 Pacific Motorway – Pennant Hills Road intersection would:

  • Travel north along the M1 Pacific Motorway
  • Exit the M1 Pacific Motorway at the Mt Colah Pacific Motorway exit and U-turn via Ku-ring-gai Chase Road back onto the M1 Pacific Motorway (southbound)
  • Continue south along the M1 Pacific Motorway
  • Exit the motorway at the Pacific Highway exit and turn right onto the Pacific Highway
  • Continue north along Pacific Highway and turn right onto George Street
  • Turn left from George Street onto Bridge Road
  • Travel along Bridge Road into Hornsby Quarry.

Route from the quarry site

Once the heavy vehicles have exited the site onto Bridge Road, the vehicles will use different haulage routes during peak and non-peak hours.

Peak hours (7am to 10am and 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday):

  • Exit the quarry and travel east along Bridge Road
  • Turn left onto Jersey Street North
  • Continue along Jersey Street North and turn right onto the Pacific Highway and continue north
  • Turn right onto Yirra Road then right onto Belmont Parade
  • Turn left onto Ku-ring-gai Chase Road
  • Turn right onto the M1 Pacific Motorway (southbound)
  • Continue south down the M1 Pacific Motorway and then proceed to either northern or southern NorthConnex construction locations.

Or alternatively – Windybanks interchange:

  • Exit the quarry and travel east along Bridge Road
  • Turn left onto Jersey Street North
  • Continue along Jersey Street North and turn right onto the Pacific Highway and continue north
  • Turn right onto Windybanks Interchange
  • Continue south down the M1 Pacific Motorway and then proceed to either northern or southern NorthConnex construction locations.

Non-peak hours (10am to 3pm Monday to Friday; 8am to 1pm Saturday):

  • Exit the quarry site and travel east along Bridge Road
  • Turn right onto George Street
  • Continue south along George Street onto the Pacific Highway
  • Continue south along the Pacific Highway and then proceed to either northern or southern NorthConnex construction locations.

Would trucks be allowed on local roads?

Trucks would be restricted to the haulage routes identified and assessed in the EIS.

Would there be changes to local roads during construction?

The project includes the following changes to local roads to enable safe all weather access to the site:

  • Widening Bridge Road between the quarry and Roper Lane
  • Temporary closure of the southern end of Roper Lane for the duration of the project
  • Temporary parking restrictions on Bridge Road between the quarry and Pacific Highway
  • Temporary restriction of pedestrian and cyclist access on Bridge Road between Roper Lane and the quarry.

Local roads would be reinstated to original or better condition at the completion of the project.

What are you doing about Roper Lane?

The Bridge Road end of Roper Lane is proposed to be closed for safety reasons to minimise interaction with local traffic and to manage haulage traffic along Bridge Road. The closure would require residents from Roper Lane (and connected streets such as Fern Tree Close, Summers Avenue and Silvia Street) to use alternative routes to access the Pacific Highway / Peats Ferry Road.

Alternative access to the Pacific Highway / Peats Ferry Road is available via Summers Avenue and Watsons Avenue which provides for all movements. Signalised access is available via Galston Road.

Roads and Maritime is working closely with Hornsby Shire Council to provide appropriate signalised intersections to ensure the impact of this closure is minimised.

Would you be using Quarry Road to access the site?

Only light vehicles (for construction personnel) and delivery trucks would access the site (in and out) via Quarry Road. However, heavy vehicles may be required to access the site from Quarry Road during:

  • An emergency where entry and/or exit via Bridge Road is impeded due to vehicle breakdown.
  • Site establishment and demobilisation to transport plant and equipment.

No site activities or haulage to the site would occur during extreme weather events.

How many trucks would pass along the haulage routes per day?

The maximum potential number of spoil haulage trucks accessing the quarry site per day would be 385 (770 vehicle movements). On a per hour basis this equates to a maximum of 35 vehicles (70 movements).

Truck volumes during peak hours were initially anticipated to be around 50 trucks accessing / egressing the site each hour. However, during design development and further analysis, truck volumes were optimised to balance the requirements of the project with the need to minimise impact on the community.

The number of vehicles associated with the project is low compared to existing traffic volumes on the road network. The traffic assessment showed most locations in the road network would operate within capacity with the addition of project traffic. The project would contribute:

  • One per cent of forecast 2016 total daily traffic on the Pacific Highway (south of Yirra Road)
  • Three per cent of forecast 2016 total daily traffic on the Pacific Highway (east of College Crescent).

Access to amenities

Can the mountain bike trails still be used?

During the proposed work, some of the mountain bike trails will need to be reconfigured or closed. The easy and intermediate mountain bike trails would need to be closed and the expert trail reconfigured to maintain appropriate access. A map of the proposed access to the mountain bike trails for the duration of the project is included in the EIS.

The project would use appropriate signage before and during work to advise the community of the changes and alternative access to mountain bike trails.

While the project will require temporary closure and/or changes to mountain bike trails, the project would help with the infilling and rehabilitation of the site by Council to provide additional recreational facilities for the community in future.


How would you manage noise?

A detailed noise and vibration assessment has been completed to assess the impact of the proposed work associated with site establishment, spoil haulage and placement and site demobilisation. This assessment was based on the worst case scenario (assuming all machinery and plant would be operating simultaneously and at the closest point to sensitive receivers).

Work on site including conveyor construction and spoil stockpiling and emplacement work would result in elevated noise levels around the quarry site, TAFE and along Bridge Road.

Traffic noise from spoil haulage on Bridge Road is likely to increase noise levels by up to 10 dB(A). In consultation with impacted residents on Bridge Road, the project team will consider feasible and reasonable measures to minimise noise impact.

Reducing truck movements from 50 (as initially proposed) to 35 per hour would minimise the noise impact on sensitive locations, providing a practicable balance between the project requirements and minimising the noise impact for the local community.

Mitigation measures include:

  • Establishing noise mounds about 5 metres high surrounding key sections of the stockpiling area
  • Adherence to all noise conditions specified in the Minister for Planning’s Conditions of Approval for the project.
  • Use of a modern fleet for the haulage of spoil and no compression braking permitted by drivers
  • Respite periods for high noise impact activities on the quarry site
  • Noise monitoring program to confirm level of impact especially at sensitive locations.

How would you manage dust?

The proposed work would generate dust during spoil stockpiling and emplacement activities. Dust-generating activities include handling of material from spoil haulage trucks, transfer of spoil from temporary stockpiles to the conveyor and the distribution of spoil within the quarry void. Measures for managing dust would include:

  • Sealing haulage roads and internal site roads
  • Regularly watering down roads with water carts
  • Spraying water on spoil stockpiles and conveyor transfer points
  • Stabilising exposed surfaces
  • Installing wind barriers, such as shade cloth on site perimeter fencing
  • Managing speed limits on internal site roads
  • Implementing a formal dust observation program including daily reviews of weather forecasts, observations of meteorological conditions and on site dust generation.

What about air quality?

An air quality assessment was carried out in accordance with the Approved Methods for the Modelling and Assessment of Air Pollutants (Approved methods) (DEC, 2005) and the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality (Air NEPM) (NEPC, 2003).

The air quality assessment carried out concluded that emissions generated by vehicles and construction machinery would have a negligible impact on the surrounding air quality.

The assessment of combustion emissions from haulage trucks travelling from the NorthConnex Project to the Hornsby Quarry site found the impact on residents adjacent to haulage routes would be negligible.

Project contributions to local air quality would be below the established criteria for all key pollutants.

Will you be considering the health impacts of the proposal?

A health risk assessment for the project was completed to assess air quality and noise impacts on human health.

Dust management and mitigation measures would be outlined in a comprehensive dust management plan, and include:

  • A reactive management strategy with site procedures for targeting the visual observation of dust leaving the site
  • Contingency measures such as additional watering, covering stockpiles, temporary modifications to dust generating activities and temporary reductions in materials handling intensity.

The project includes best practice mitigation measures ensuring there will not be significant health impacts in the local community.

No adverse health impacts are expected as a result of exposure to silica emissions from the project.

How would the Hornsby Diatreme be protected?

The sight lines to the diatreme in Hornsby Quarry and surrounding vegetation would be altered due to spoil placement in the quarry void. It is unlikely spoil placement would damage the heritage item. The final spoil fill level is expected to still provide partial views of the diatreme, and the portion of the diatreme obscured from view would be protected by the spoil material.


How will the community be consulted?

The project team has been working closely with the Hornsby Shire Council and is consulting with the community and key local stakeholders including TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute and Sydney North Off Road Cyclists.

At project milestones, community updates will be delivered to households and businesses and all stakeholders registered on the project mailing list. Activities and public displays will be advertised to provide notice of upcoming dates.

Roads and Maritime is committed to providing opportunities for the community to be involved in the project and welcome your feedback at any time. To register for project updates or to speak to a member of the project team please contact us.

Contact us

For further information about this project, please contact:

Phone: 1800 997 057 (free call 24 hours)


Post: Community Relations Team, Locked Bag 1001, West Pennant Hills NSW 2125.