Gloom obscures M5 tunnel filters

 

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the RTA this week wrote to those companies applying to build the eastbound filter to say the $20 million project had been dumped.

The letter, sent to six companies from Australia, Norway, Austria and South Korea, said “a decision has been made not to proceed with the proposed filtration scheme in the eastbound tunnel”.

An RTA spokesman said no applicants met the assessment criteria, including creating a system that could be placed into the existing roof cavity.

“This meant the submissions did not offer the community value for money” and therefore would not proceed, he said.

The $50 million westbound tunnel filter was being tested just weeks ago but technical glitches have caused a delay.

The taxpayer-funded was sucking in polluted air but tests found turbulence caused the air to stay inside the structure. The RTA has been forced to fit new parts inside the filter so air will cleaned before being returned to the tunnel as clean air.

“The RTA is installing guide (air-turning) vanes,” the spokesman said. “The filtration plant is on budget. The trial is planned to start in March.”

The news comes 18 months after a National Health and Medical Research Council report on air quality and motorway tunnels said the M5 East was one of world’s most polluted tunnels.

Residents Against Polluting Stacks lobby group spokesman Mark Curran said years of promises had delivered nothing, saying yesterday: “If the haze is visible, it means air in the tunnel is still dangerous.”

 

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