Australia, Boring, New South Wales, News, Transport, Tunnelling

Breakthrough on M4-M5 Link Tunnels

M4-M5 tunnel link

The M4-M5 Link Link Tunnels are the final and most critical components of the WestConnex project.

The final tunnelling breakthrough on the M4-M5 Link Tunnels has been competed, wrapping up a major construction milestone on the WestConnex project with roadheaders carving rock 43 metres below ground.

WestConnex is the largest infrastructure project in Australia, linking Western and South Western Sydney with the city, airport and port in a 33 km continuous motorway, predominantly via an underground motorway scheme.

The M4-M5 Link Tunnels are part of a $16.8 billion project to reduce travel times as the state reopens from COVID lockdowns, and the final tunnel breakthrough on the M4 and M5 Tunnel Links marks part of the third and final stage of the project.

The 7.5 km twin M4-M5 tunnels are part of 22 km of the 33 km motorway that will be underground, with roadheaders carving out rock as deep as 43 m below ground level. 

Roadheaders began breaking through the sandstone to connect two sections of tunnel back in April. 

As Australia’s largest road infrastructure project, the M4-M5 Link Tunnels required 9,000 workers and subcontractors. 

Chief executive officer for Transurban Schott Charlton said drivers are already enjoying the benefits of WestConnex, with close to 150 million trips made on the first two stages in the last financial year. 

The project is being jointly funded by the New South Wales and Australian governments, with both the Prime Minister and the NSW premier delivering the announcement of the milestone from the Sydney underground. 

“This breakthrough isn’t just for a tunnel, but it’s a breakthrough for getting people home sooner and safer and helping workers to move around,” the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“As we reopen Sydney and Australia, projects like this bypass and our record $110 billion infrastructure investment are going to give our economy even more of a boost.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the third stage of WestConnex is now another step closer to forming a western bypass of the Sydney CBD.

“The Northwest Metro in north-west Sydney had been promised for decades and decades and decades, back when I was a kid at school. But we got on with the job. We built that project and we’re on to the next one,” Perrottet said. 

“As part of the New South Wales Government’s record $108.5 billion investment pipeline, WestConnex is already easing congestion, creating jobs and connecting communities, right across our city.” 

The M4-M5 Link Tunnels will open to traffic in 2023.

For more information visit the WestConnex website. 

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