Deputy PM, NSW Premier and NSW Transport Minister tour M5 tunnels

Image taken from a video showing maintenance works in the M5, courtesy of the Federal Government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today travelled underground in the nine kilometre tunnels for the first time to inspect progress on the $4.3 billion project.

Construction of the tunnels between Beverly Hills and Saint Peters is almost complete.

The new M5 tunnel will open with two lanes in each direction but there is capacity to upgrade to three lanes and include connections to future project including the M4/M5 Link Tunnel, the M6 Stage 1 and the Sydney Gateway to the airport and Port Botany.

This follows the opening of the NorthConnex tunnel in late June 2020.

WestConnex will be opened in four major stages, the new M4 which is now open, the new M5 tunnels and the M4/M5 Link Tunnel and Rozelle Interchange opening in 2023. Upon completion the project will have created a 33km road network which will bypass up to 52 sets of traffic lights.

Gladys Berejiklian said it’s really exciting to see the hard work is almost finished on this crucial nine kilometres of motorway.

“Once open, the New M5 tunnels will double the capacity of this corridor, which carries around 100,000 vehicles every day and is one of the most congested parts of Sydney’s traffic network,” Ms. Berejikilian said.

She said motorists can expect to benefit from journey up to half an hour shorter between Liverpool and suburbs in south Sydney.

“Drivers will be able to travel from Beverly Hills to a new interchange at St Peters in around 10 minutes, with new connections to Alexandria and Mascot.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said drivers on the existing motorway will also benefit.

“We’re going to see huge travel time savings on the M5 East too, with trips cut in half and travel speeds expected to double during peak time, improving journeys to the airport and Port Botany,” Mr. McCormack said.

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the finishing touches are being applied to the tunnels with the mechanical and electrical fit-out nearing completion.

“There are currently 1,000 tradespeople working to complete the project, with more than 18,000 workers involved over the project’s lifespan,” Mr. Constance said.

“The fit-out is almost finished with line marking work under way and the installation of 33,000 wall panels more than 90 per cent complete.”

The tunnels are currently in the final stages of system testing which is a step closer to the tunnels opening.

The Federal Government is investing $1.5 billion towards WestConnex and provided a $2 billion concessional loan to accelerate the delivery of the New M5 section. The New South Wales Government is investing $1.8 billion towards the $16.8 billion project.

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