For the first time, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres travelled through the first WestConnex tunnel, the New M4, and inspected paving work set to open to traffic early 2019.
With excavation of the 5.5 kilometre twin tunnels now 98% completed, it is possible to travel the full length of the New M4 underground between Homebush and Haberfield.
Premier Berejiklian said the milestone was testament to the more than 2,000 people working on the project every day.
“The massive progress made in recent months is all thanks to the men and women working above and below ground to turn Australia’s biggest transport infrastructure project into a reality,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’re now well over half way to completing the New M4 twin tunnels, with more than 6.8 million hours clocked up to date.”
Minister for WestConnex and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said drivers would welcome news of such progress.
“The next section of WestConnex is rapidly taking shape on the surface with motorists travelling on new sections of motorway east of Homebush Bay Drive,” Mr Ayres said.
“Underground it’s also clear we are quickly moving onto the next phase of delivery. Excavation is nearing completion, the mechanical and electrical fit-out of the tunnels is already underway, and pavement work is progressing well, with more than 1.9 kilometres of surface now laid.”
“When the New M4 opens in 2019, drivers will save up to 20 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to the city,” Mr Ayres said.
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said since the first underground breakthrough in July, there have been a further five breakthroughs across four tunnelling sites, creating a continuous 5.5 kilometre stretch in each tunnel.
“The New M4 tunnels will connect to the widened M4 and extend it underground, three lanes in each direction, from Homebush to Haberfield, allowing motorists to bypass the current bottleneck where the M4 ends at Parramatta Road, Concord,” Mr Fletcher said.
“More than 300 contracts have been signed with Sydney suppliers to help deliver the New M4 twin tunnels, supporting jobs and expanding businesses.
“In addition we are fostering skill development with more than 140 apprentices and trainees working on the New M4, and more than 500 set to work across all WestConnex projects.”
WestConnex is connecting Sydney. When completed, WestConnex will link two of Sydney’s busiest road corridors – the M4 and M5 – providing motorists with a western bypass of the CBD.
For more information, visit www.westconnex.com.au.
New M4 Fast facts
- Project length: 6.5km, including 5.5km of mainline tunnel
- Number of on and off ramps: 8
- Work started early 2016, tunnelling started July 2016
- On schedule to be completed 2019
- Jobs: supporting more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs, including 190 apprentices and trainees
- Tunnelling excavation more than 98% completed
- Tunnel benching (bottom level excavation) more than 85% completed
- Tunnel pavement work more than 14% completed
- Six underground tunnel breakthroughs and two underground to surface breakthroughs since July 2017