In a draft submission by the Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys P & C, it states the committee does not support the current proposal as outlined in the Environmental Impact Study.But if the proposal goes ahead it insists a number of things be put in place, including a fund to compensate those who get sick or are injured due to the construction of the $14 billion tunnel.“A compensation fund for children and staff directly injured or affected by pollution and other safety hazards must be established in case of claims as a result of adverse health and safety effects caused by construction and pollution,” the P & C said in its submission.The P & C highlighted concerns around noise, saying boys will be exposed to possibly “unbearable” levels of during the school day and called for alternative spaces to be found for those taking exams.In terms of pollution and dust it said the government’s own report suggested asbestos could be released in the air during demolition works.“ … Balgowlah Boys Campus will have a high sensitivity to dust settlement effects and high risk of human health impacts given the short distance to the demolition, earthworks and surface construction works,” the P & C said.“Despite any measures to suppress dust during construction, we expect that dust will be experienced on the school grounds especially on windy days.“Dust will affect boys during recess and lunch breaks, outdoor school assemblies, PE classes, and use of Balgowlah Oval for sport and during recess and lunchtime.”It wrote that the EIS states “that there is the potential for dust emissions to contain contaminants mobilised through the disturbance of contaminated soils, and other hazardous materials (such as asbestos fibres or organic matter) during demolition of buildings and other structures”.In the submission the P & C said it was “deeply concerned about the adverse impacts of the construction and operation of the proposed Beaches Link Tunnel on our boys, the teachers and staff, the school grounds, and on Balgowlah Oval”. “These adverse impacts cover both the construction and operational phases of the proposed works which will severely impact on the whole school community in terms of noise, dust, vibration, access, disruption, traffic and road safety, air quality and health, and access to open space and sporting facilities.”Among the mitigative measures the P & C is calling for if the proposed construction goes ahead in its current form include:•High-capacity dust filtration units installed in every classroom at the school to help prevent fine particle pollution affecting and endangering the students’ health. •Air quality to be monitored before, during and after construction by independent consultants.•New bus stops for the B-Line and other express buses near the entrance to Dudley Street, with a safe pedestrian crossing across the green space above the tunnel portal to the northbound stop, to improve access to the bus network for Balgowlah Boys students and local Seaforth and Balgowlah residents.•Rebuilding the overpass so that it meets current universal access standards, including widening to allow faster and safer access by students to the green space across Sydney Road, lifts at both ends, and better access and amenity of the bridge into the school grounds. Once construction of the tunnel is finished there are plans to develop the site opposite the school for the benefit of the community.The Balgowlah Boys P & C said it would like to see the creation of multipurpose facilities for both sport and education that can be used by the school. Community rooms could be used as teaching spaces, toilet blocks as changing rooms for PE.Currently the school, which has seen excellent HSC results in recent years, is oversubscribedREVEALED: HOW MANY CARS THE TUNNEL WILL BRINGBy Jim O’Rourke, Feb 23If the Beaches Link twin tunnels get the go-ahead the number of vehicles travelling into and out of the northern beaches could jump by at least nine per cent, the council’s traffic experts predict.But traffic would be slashed on Warringah Rd, Mona Vale Rd and over the The Spit Bridge according to the Northern Beaches Council’s official submission to the tunnel’s environmental impact statement (EIS).The submission said the Link, which it described as a “long overdue piece of infrastructure”, would also “support the future growth of the Northern Beaches region”, especially around Brookvale, Dee Why and Frenchs Forest.NSW Government planners were criticised by the council for being “light on detail’ when it came to the effects of the project on minor roads around the tunnel entrances and exits at Balgowlah and Seaforth, which were “likely to attract additional traffic and suffer increased congestion”. The council voted on Tuesday night to endorse its 49-page response to the EIS — released on December 9 — and send it to the NSW Planning Department before the March 1 deadline for public submissions.An amendment was added to the submission, by Cr Stuart Sprott, to include an overhead bridge near the Seaforth portals to allow wildlife to move safely between Garigal National Park and the bushland around Manly Dam. State government planners have said the proposed toll road, linking the northern beaches with the Sydney motorway network at Cammeray, would cut travel times for locals wanting to travel to destinations like Sydney Airport.The EIS said that by 2037, there would also be less traffic on the three major roads into and out of the northern beaches with predictions of a 33 per cent reduction on Spit Road and 23 per cent less traffic on Warringah Rd.Traffic figures from the EIS Military and Spit roads are among the top 10 busiest road corridors in NSW, including 69,500 vehicles and 34,000 bus passengers crossing the Spit Bridge every day.Transport for NSW said Beaches Link would also ease congestion on the Roseville Bridge (used by 79,500 vehicles a day), Mona Vale Rd (56,000 vehicles a day) and Eastern Valley Way (28,000 vehicles a day).“It’s part of an integrated transport network, designed to boost public transport to and from the Northern Beaches, including opportunities for new express bus routes via the tunnel to the Sydney CBD, North Sydney and Macquarie Park,” a spokesman said on Wednesday.“The Wakehurst Parkway will be widened from one lane to two in each direction between Seaforth and Frenchs Forest as part of the Beaches Link project.”The council submission predicted increased travel times on Wakehurst Parkway, south of Oxford Falls; congestion around Balgowlah Boys High School and; “rat runs” through residential streets at North Balgowlah and Balgowlah Heights created by motorists trying to avoid tolls.Critics of Beaches Link said the council’s EIS submission showed the magnitude of problems the tunnel would create on local roads.Nerissa Levy, a spokeswoman for the Balgowlah Residents Group, said it demonstrated why transport experts “have told us all along that the tunnel isn’t a good solution for the northern beaches”.“Local road upgrades do not come as part of the tunnel, and the council is forced to beg fruitlessly for funding to avoid leaving our local roads in permanent gridlock,” Ms Levy said.“Wakehurst Parkway delays are predicted to rise from 4.5 minutes to 10 minutes due to increased traffic funnelling into the one intersection.“Council says Condamine St, Kenneth Rd, Balgowlah Rd, Rosebery St, Pittwater Rd, Sydney Rd, Warringah Rd all needed widening, turning lanes, new traffic lights or upgrades to intersections.“(These are) roads that struggle with traffic now, let alone with the increases in traffic predicted from the tunnel.“These problems give an indication of the increased housing development and extra traffic that’s coming with the tunnel, particularly on the weekends in summer.”The council declined to comment until after Tuesday night’s meeting.
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