The New South Wales Government has announced two joint ventures have been shortlisted to build the M4-M5 Link.

Minister for WestConnex, Stuart Ayres, said John Holland CPB Contractors joint venture and Lendlease Samsung Bouygues joint venture have been shortlisted to design and build the mainline tunnel between Haberfield and St Peters, after the release of the concept design in May 2017.

“John Holland CPB Contractors joint venture and Lend Lease Samsung Bouygues joint venture have been selected to tender for the M4-M5 link which will create a non-stop underground western bypass of Sydney CBD,” Mr Ayres said.

“The M4-M5 Link is the most important stage of WestConnex as it will provide the vital connection between the new and upgraded M4 and M5 motorways for tens of thousands of vehicles a day and connect to Port Botany, the Airport and future M6.”

Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said with the widened M4 set to open on 15 July 2017 and tunnelling past the halfway mark on M4 East tunnels, the final stage of WestConnex is moving forward which will provide congestion relief for thousands of drivers a day.

“In four weeks from now drivers will be able to experience the widened eight kilometre stretch of the M4 between Church Street Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive at Homebush, toll free for a month,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The M4-M5 Link mainline tunnel will be delivered as a stand-alone project, initially operating independently from the Rozelle Interchange and Iron Cove Link, allowing the link to potentially open early to drivers in 2022.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said the Commonwealth was pleased to be supporting WestConnex with $1.5 billion in grant funding and a $2 billion concessional loan to the NSW Government.

“The Turnbull Government recently announced a record commitment of $75 billion over the next decade for road and rail infrastructure projects around Australia,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We also announced $5.3 billion in equity to construct the highly-awaited Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, which will transform Western Sydney and deliver local jobs and economic benefits for decades to come.”

Work to build the M4-M5 link would start in 2018 with new M4 tunnels to open in 2019.

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