NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said motorists are already enjoying the benefits of a widened M5 West but come to an abrupt halt when they hit the notorious traffic pinch point at the existing M5 East tunnel.
“I’m committed to completing the missing link between the M5 and M4 … to get Sydney motorists home to their families sooner,” he said.
“When WestConnex is completed, traffic currently rat running on residential streets will be able to access a continuous free flowing motorway. This will ensure only people who want to use local streets to access local businesses like cafes, restaurants and shops will.”
How the design affects motorists
Motorists driving from south western Sydney will continue using the existing M5 East to access Sydney Airport and suburbs south and east of the airport like Brighton Le Sands and Maroubra.
Alternatively, they will be able to use the New M5, which will feature twin tunnels to access suburbs north of the airport such as Marrickville, and for a direct connection to the Alexandria employment hub.
Travelling from west to east, motorists will enter one of the new M5 twin tunnels adjacent to the Kingsgrove industrial estate and travel underground for nine kilometres to St Peters.
Motorists travelling from east to west will follow the same corridor route in the second tunnel.
Once WestConnex is complete, motorists will have the choice to stay on the new M5 for an underground connection to the M4 (bypassing King Street, Newtown) or surface at the St Peters Interchange to access a number of direct connections to areas such as Alexandria, Redfern and Mascot.
WestConnex is designed to limit land acquisitions wherever possible and more than two thirds is being built underground and in existing road corridors.
When does work start?
Subject to planning approval, work on the New M5 will start mid next year, with the tunnel due to open to traffic in 2019.