READY, SET, GO: Preparing for blasting at St Helena for the tunnel and, inset, the actual explosion.
READY, SET, GO: Preparing for blasting at St Helena for the tunnel and, inset, the actual explosion.

St Helena tunnel construction comes at a price

WHILE the start of construction on the St Helena tunnel might have excited many on the Northern Rivers, the poor residents of the nearby Clover Hill estate at Bangalow can't wait for it to be over.

The first blast went off last Thursday and already the noise and the dust are wearing some residents down.

"We know this is going to be good for Bangalow and at the end of the day Clover Hill residents will be better off because of (the tunnel), but it's just so disruptive to our lives," one resident, who did not want to be named, said.

"The dust is out of control, even though (the contracters) Baulderstone do their very best to control it, as soon as it dries out it is everywhere.

"And the construction noise is an issue for us all day. It's terrible."

The bad news for the folk of Clover Hill is they'll have to endure the blasting and construction noise for up to another year before the 434m-long tunnel is complete. And it's not likely to get any quieter.

Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday said workers would have to use a combination of explosives and drills to cut through rock believed to have originated in the lava flows from the Mt Warning mega-volcano 23 million years ago.

 

Important numbers

  • 30,000 cubic metres of permanent concrete
  • 40,000 square metres of waterproofing membrane
  • 3000 steel rock bolts
  • 32 reversible jet fans for ventilation
  • 2.4 million litres of water storage


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