Australia’s deepest road tunnel, NorthConnex, which burrows as deep as 90m at its lowest point, is set to open to motorists on Saturday 31 October after months of delays.

The project, which entailed an investment of A$3bn ($2.12bn), will help motorists to drive between Newcastle and Melbourne without stopping at traffic signals.

The twin 9km tunnel will connect Sydney’s M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at the existing Pennant Hills Road interchange.

It is estimated that the project will help to reduce traffic volume by diverting up to 5,000 trucks per day from Pennant Hills Road.

The tunnel, which was originally scheduled for completion late last year, has the capacity to carry 100,000 vehicles a day.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NorthConnex is designed to the highest safety standards, built and fitted to keep drivers safe.

Berejiklian said: “With construction complete, the final commissioning has almost wrapped up, with more than 50,000 tests and checks done so far to ensure the motorway is ready to open.”

It is being claimed that the new motorway will save up to 15 minutes of travel time for motorists and allow them to bypass up to 21 traffic lights.

Car drivers will be charged A$7.99 for using NorthConnex while truckers will have to pay A$23.97.

New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said NorthConnex will also feature the latest in-tunnel technology, including 24/7 monitoring.

He added: “NorthConnex will be the first road tunnel in Australia to include innovative lighting features, including trees, starscapes and birds, aimed at keeping drivers engaged. Testing is being conducted on systems we’ve never seen in any other tunnel in Australia.”