Hornsby Shire Council has thrown its support behind a State Government plan that will see clean excavated material from the NorthConnex tunnel used to partly fill Hornsby Quarry and help make it safe for public access.
It is estimated that the NorthConnex tunnel will create a total of 4.5 million cubic metres of waste rock or spill, from its tunnelling activities.
About one million cubic metres of the clean spill from the NorthConnex tunnel will be used to go in to the deepest part of the void left at Hornsby Quarry, raising the floor by about 45 metres.
The central void (highlighted) is estimated to be of greater size than the rock that will be sourced from NorthConnex. The final height and landform will be considered at a later date, but the fill required to finalise the project will come from within the quarry itself and will be managed by Hornsby Shire Council.
“The quarry site has the potential to become a community asset unparalleled in the Shire, thanks entirely to the vision and cooperation of all levels of government.” Said Mayor Steve Russell.
The project will cost $22 million, which will be split three ways between the State Government, the Federal Government and Council.
This cost is in addition to the $900m already provided by State and Federal Government for the NorthConnex tunnel and is required for the infrastructure, compaction and approvals processes specifically related to Hornsby Quarry.
It is expected the work will take around two years. The full details of the method of work and possible disruption to residents has not yet been determined.
Council has stated that “The Environmental Impact Statement will find the best way to fill the quarry, with the least impact to residents”. They have also made it clear that construction and filling hours will need to be limited.
“With this move the State Government has ended a decade of uncertainty about what to do with the abandoned quarry that Council was forced to buy,” Mayor Russell said.
“It would be a terrible shame to have this amazing asset locked away forever, just a few minutes’ walk from Hornsby CBD but invisible to everybody.”
Once the quarry has been made safe Council will undertake studies and widespread public consultation to ensure a quality public recreation space.
“Already a lot of great ideas have been suggested, including an amphitheatre, a lake and a major extension to the existing mountain bike trail,” Mayor Russell said.
“This is going to be one of the most exciting projects ever undertaken in Hornsby Shire. Watch this space.”