WestConnex has reached a major milestone with the first underground breakthrough achieved between two tunnelling sites at Concord on the M4.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for WestConnex, Stuart Ayres and Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher witnessed the breakthrough 40m below ground, marking 70 per cent completion of mainline tunnelling.
“In a little over one year, New M4 crews have carved out an impressive 9km of future WestConnex tunnel which will unclog suburban streets and provide seamless travel between Haberfield and Homebush and beyond from 2019,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We have 21 roadheaders working 24 hours a day to deliver new road tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield.”
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 Ayres, said the flow on benefits from WestConnex are enormous with more than one billion in contracts signed for goods and services on the New M4 section alone.
“WestConnex has created a veritable jobs boom – more than half of people involved in the New M4 hail from greater Western Sydney and more than 10,000 people will be employed across the life of the project.
“The next significant phase of work – tunnel fit out – gets underway in the coming months, while the Powells Creek on-ramp, is scheduled to open to traffic later this year,” Mr Ayres said.
Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said when completed, WestConnex will enable motorists to travel along the M4 between Penrith and the edge of the CBD without passing through a single set of traffic lights.
“Congestion relief and an integrated motorway network for Sydney is fast becoming a reality and the Commonwealth is pleased to be supporting WestConnex with $1.5 billion in grant funding and a $2 billion concessional loan to the NSW Government,” Mr Fletcher said.