Frequently asked questions

Acquisition

To create a path for the tunnel, Roads and Maritime Services will need to compulsorily acquire ‘subsurface’ land. This includes land passing directly under properties. 
In accordance with the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, compensation is generally not payable for subsurface acquisition unless particular circumstances as defined in the Act relating to damage to the support of property is caused.

 

Two-thirds of WestConnex is being built in underground tunnel, minimising impacts on the surface. We plan to use the disused Rozelle Rail Yards for the proposed Rozelle Interchange to limit the number of properties needed for construction of the M4–M5 Link. 
It is expected a small number of properties near Victoria Road and Iron Cove Bridge and some commercial properties near the Rozelle Rail Yards will need to be acquired for the project. 
Roads and Maritime Services has been in contact with all affected property owners in this location.  

 

Roads and Maritime Services will directly contact any property owners affected by acquisition as information becomes available. 

  • The King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade required minimal property acquisition. 
  • In excess of 80% of acquisition of properties for the M4 Widening, M4 East and New M5 projects is complete. 
  • Roads and Maritime has contacted the owners of properties currently identified as being required  for the proposed M4–M5 Link.  

 

Two thirds of WestConnex is being built in underground motorway tunnels – minimising land acquisition and reducing impact on local communities.

Where possible we also: 

  • Work within existing road reservations
  • Use existing government-owned land.

Where we do need to acquire land, we aim to facilitate a fair and straightforward acquisition process for owners. Impacted property owners are compensated and paid market value for their property as per the entitlements set out in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. 

Roads and Maritime Services will make an offer to the owner of a required property based on a market valuation it has obtained from a qualified independent property valuer. Property owners are also entitled to obtain their own market valuation from a qualified property valuer of their choice. Reasonable fees for the valuation obtained will be reimbursed to the owner at the time of settlement.

If the two valuations differ, the valuation reports are exchanged and discussions between the parties take place involving the respective valuers with the objective of achieving a professional agreement based on market evidence. The owners are invited to attend meetings with the valuers and Roads and Maritime Services, which undertakes the property acquisition process for WestConnex. Roads and Maritime Services endeavours at all times to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement on the value of the property. 
Property owners are also entitled to reimbursement for reasonable costs associated with the acquisition including:

  • Conveyancing or legal advice 
  • Mortgage re-establishment costs and other payments 
  • Stamp duty costs for the purchase of property of equal value to the property being acquired.
  • Relocation expenses.

See Roads and Maritime Services land acquisition information guide, July 2014 for further details.

For business properties, business owners are compensated under the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. Compensation for business relocation costs are considered in assessing the business owner’s entitlement to compensation. 

In addition to the owner’s entitlement to compensation under the Act, an independent, confidential counselling service is available to support people facing significant change as a result of the project. 

Noise and vibration

To create a path for the tunnel, Roads and Maritime Services will need to compulsorily acquire ‘subsurface’ land. This includes land passing directly under properties. 
In accordance with the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, compensation is generally not payable for subsurface acquisition unless particular circumstances as defined in the Act relating to damage to the support of property is caused.

 

We undertake noise modelling for all of our projects, to predict noise levels after the project opens to traffic.

On some sections of WestConnex, new and upgraded noise walls will be installed to reduce the impact of traffic noise. Sometimes noise walls are not practical or may not be enough to effectively mitigate the expected noise. When this happens, properties may also be eligible for acoustic treatments to reduce road traffic noise. Our teams discuss this option directly with relevant property owners.

Tunnelling

To create a path for the tunnel, Roads and Maritime Services will need to compulsorily acquire ‘subsurface’ land. This includes land passing directly under properties. 
In accordance with the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991, compensation is generally not payable for subsurface acquisition unless particular circumstances as defined in the Act relating to damage to the support of property is caused.

 

All Sydney road tunnels have management plans that involve monitoring tunnel air quality 24-hours a day and they must comply with independent pre-determined guidelines for in-tunnel air quality. 

The WestConnex air quality management plan will follow stringent guidelines and take account of the final design of the route, the length of each section of tunnel and the location of ventilation outlets. 

For more information, visit Air quality.

Two-thirds of WestConnex is being built in underground tunnel, minimising impacts on the surface. We plan to use the disused Rozelle Rail Yards for the proposed Rozelle Interchange to limit the number of properties needed for construction of the M4–M5 Link. 
It is expected a small number of properties near Victoria Road and Iron Cove Bridge and some commercial properties near the Rozelle Rail Yards will need to be acquired for the project. 
Roads and Maritime Services has been in contact with all affected property owners in this location.  

 

The former Rozelle Rail Yards adjacent to the City West Link will be used for the construction of the M4-M5 Link Rozelle Interchange which will be built almost completely underground. Up to 10 hectares of new open space and improved pedestrian and cyclist connectivity will be created where the Rozelle Rail Yards currently is today. The site will also be used to establish permanent infrastructure such as a Motorway Operations Complex and ventilation facility. Construction for the Rozelle Interchange is expected to start in 2019 and open to traffic in late 2023.

Geotechnical investigations involve taking core samples from the earth to understand the conditions underground and develop a geological profile of the area. 

We carry out geotechnical drilling along the WestConnex corridor, concentrating on locations where information on the ground conditions is not already available.

Geotechnical investigations involve:

  • Identifying underground services and utilities and marking out locations for each borehole.
  • Setting up a safe work area with appropriate environmental controls.
  • Managing traffic and pedestrians where required to ensure the safety of motorists, residents and workers.
  • Collecting borehole soil and rock samples.

The information gathered helps to inform our designs, and work out the best sub-surface conditions for underground road tunnels.

WestConnex is able to meet stringent air quality standards in the tunnels and the surrounding community using state-of-the-art ventilation and tunnel design. Filtration is not needed as it would not provide any measurable improvement to the air quality in the surrounding community.

Usually each tunnel has a ventilation facility at the start and end, with up to three for each section. The exact number is confirmed during design. See our Interactive map for details.

They are designed in line with world's best practice and are safe for motorists and the community.

The M4-M5 Link Concept Design released on 12 May 2017 includes:

  • a proposed alignment for the main tunnels, Rozelle Interchange, Iron Cove Link and indicative tunnel depths for each of these areas
  • a range of options for construction sites and amenities
  • the proposed location of surface connections and facilities, including ventilation outlets
  • details of active transport (walking and cycling) improvements
  • draft masterplans for the Rozelle Rail Yards and St Peters, as well as a concept plan for Victoria Road near the Iron Cove Bridge.

Transferring vehicles from surface roads into free-flowing underground motorway tunnels will improve the air quality along existing surface roads where traffic is reduced.

For example, an independent air quality assessment detailed in the M4 East EIS found air quality will generally improve along the Parramatta Road corridor because of traffic shifting to WestConnex.

Motorists will have a smooth motorway to travel on, rather than being stuck in congested, stop-start traffic with traffic lights, and this will reduce emissions.

Our tunnels are also designed to reduce emissions, as they are generally flatter and less steep at the entries and exits.

General

The M4–M5 Link will create a western bypass of the CBD, allowing motorists heading from the west towards the airport to avoid Anzac Bridge altogether. 

Roads and Maritime Services is working with Sydney Motorway Corporation to ensure the project integrates with the existing road network. 

You can call toll-free 1800 660 248 or email [email protected], 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make a complaint, a compliment or provide us with feedback. Contact us.

Geotechnical investigations involve taking core samples from the earth to understand the conditions underground and develop a geological profile of the area. 

We carry out geotechnical drilling along the WestConnex corridor, concentrating on locations where information on the ground conditions is not already available.

Geotechnical investigations involve:

  • Identifying underground services and utilities and marking out locations for each borehole.
  • Setting up a safe work area with appropriate environmental controls.
  • Managing traffic and pedestrians where required to ensure the safety of motorists, residents and workers.
  • Collecting borehole soil and rock samples.

The information gathered helps to inform our designs, and work out the best sub-surface conditions for underground road tunnels.

Roads and Maritime Services has an Exceptional Hardship Land Purchase Process which is designed to assist residential owners whose properties are in the vicinity of the Motorway and have a serious and pressing need to sell their property but find they unable to sell as a result of the motorway. Where owners can demonstrate they have exceptional hardship circumstances and have been unable to sell their property on the open market, they may wish to request that Roads and Maritime considers purchasing their property, in this way Roads and Maritime becomes the buyer the owner cannot  find. An example of such circumstances could be an elderly person who has a serious medical need to sell their property in order to relocate into a nursing home and has been unable to sell their property as a result of the road proposal.

We fully recognise the importance of Sydney Park and the investments that the City of Sydney Council and others have made in recent years.

A strip of land owned by Roads and Maritime Services adjacent to Sydney Park is being used to widen Euston Road as part of local road upgrades. This is not part of Sydney Park.

As outlined in the City of Sydney’s own management plan for Sydney Park, this land is dedicated road space and has been subject to a long-standing road widening reservation.

A small boundary strip, adjacent to the road reserve, is also required for the local road widening, however this is more than offset by the additional 8.5 hectares of open green space being created at St Peters Interchange.

Two hectares of this open green space will be directly connected to Sydney Park via a land bridge over Campbell Road.

Existing Australian Government and State financing for WestConnex is fully committed to and secured.

WestConnex is subject to the Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework and approvals processes and independent reviews by Infrastructure Australia.

Sydney Motorway Corporation also has stringent governance arrangements in place. Detailed procurement strategies are developed before going to market and starting competitive tender processes.

The strategies have a key objective of maximising competition during the procurement, to drive value for money.

A Probity Auditor oversees the tendering process, and confirmed satisfaction with previous processes. Sydney Motorway Corporation’s evaluation of the tenders is also subject to independent gateway reviews by experienced procurement practitioners not involved in the project.

The M4-M5 Link Concept Design released on 12 May 2017 includes:

  • a proposed alignment for the main tunnels, Rozelle Interchange, Iron Cove Link and indicative tunnel depths for each of these areas
  • a range of options for construction sites and amenities
  • the proposed location of surface connections and facilities, including ventilation outlets
  • details of active transport (walking and cycling) improvements
  • draft masterplans for the Rozelle Rail Yards and St Peters, as well as a concept plan for Victoria Road near the Iron Cove Bridge.

WestConnex is being delivered by an innovative financing model which includes an initial contribution from the NSW and Australian governments, with private sector debt, supported by tolling revenue and proceeds from the 51% sale of Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC), providing the remaining funding for the project.

A majority 51% share of the Government’s equity in the project has been sold, effectively recycling the NSW Government’s contribution for reinvestment into other state significant priorities.

That means NSW gets much needed infrastructure for a relatively small initial outlay which has been returned via the SMC sale, making it an exceptional value proposition for taxpayers.

It also means the government can reinvest money into other critical infrastructure needs such as further transport, hospitals and schools.

The Benefit Cost Ratio for the project is 1:88 with wider economic benefits and 1:71 without wider economic impacts, which demonstrates the remarkable return on investment WestConnex delivers for Sydneysiders.

For surface road sections of the motorway, including the widened M4, the speed limit will generally be 90km/h. In tunnels, the speed limit will be 80km/h, the same as for other tunnels in Sydney. A small section connecting to Sydney Airport may have a lower speed limit. 

Air Quality

All Sydney road tunnels have management plans that involve monitoring tunnel air quality 24-hours a day and they must comply with independent pre-determined guidelines for in-tunnel air quality. 

The WestConnex air quality management plan will follow stringent guidelines and take account of the final design of the route, the length of each section of tunnel and the location of ventilation outlets. 

For more information, visit Air quality.

Ventilation outlets will be designed to discharge tunnel emissions high into the atmosphere ensuring they are dispersed and diluted so there is no measurable effect on local ambient air quality. The effectiveness of ventilation facilities in safely and efficiently dispersing emissions is well established.

A health assessment formed part of the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for approved WestConnex projects. We consulted with NSW Health to ensure our assessment of potential health impacts was appropriate. 

In 2013, the NSW Government established the Advisory Committee on Tunnel Air Quality, chaired by NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane. The Committee has undertaken a range of reviews on international best practice to provide a ‘whole-of-government’ understanding of the scientific and engineering issues informing road tunnel ventilation design and operation. For further information go to chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au.

WestConnex is able to meet stringent air quality standards in the tunnels and the surrounding community using state-of-the-art ventilation and tunnel design. Filtration is not needed as it would not provide any measurable improvement to the air quality in the surrounding community.

Usually each tunnel has a ventilation facility at the start and end, with up to three for each section. The exact number is confirmed during design. See our Interactive map for details.

They are designed in line with world's best practice and are safe for motorists and the community.

Transferring vehicles from surface roads into free-flowing underground motorway tunnels will improve the air quality along existing surface roads where traffic is reduced.

For example, an independent air quality assessment detailed in the M4 East EIS found air quality will generally improve along the Parramatta Road corridor because of traffic shifting to WestConnex.

Motorists will have a smooth motorway to travel on, rather than being stuck in congested, stop-start traffic with traffic lights, and this will reduce emissions.

Our tunnels are also designed to reduce emissions, as they are generally flatter and less steep at the entries and exits.

Construction

All Sydney road tunnels have management plans that involve monitoring tunnel air quality 24-hours a day and they must comply with independent pre-determined guidelines for in-tunnel air quality. 

The WestConnex air quality management plan will follow stringent guidelines and take account of the final design of the route, the length of each section of tunnel and the location of ventilation outlets. 

For more information, visit Air quality.

Visit our Traffic changes page for information on traffic during construction.

Traffic modelling tells us the expected demand for WestConnex and the number of traffic lanes needed. The motorway has been designed to meet traffic demand now and in the future.

The number of lanes varies across the project: 

  • M4: the M4 Motorway has been widenedfrom three lanes in each direction to four lanes in each direction between Parramatta and Homebush. The new M4 East tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield will be three lanes in each direction.
  • New M5: when the tunnels open, there will generally be two lanes in each direction between Kingsgrove and St Peters. The tunnels can accommodate three lanes in each direction in future, with additional approvals needed for this change.
  • M4–M5 Link: The M4-M5 Link will provide twin underground tunnels with four lanes in each direction between Haberfield and St Peters.

Above-ground construction work is carried out during the standard construction hours of:

  • 7am–6pm from Mondays to Fridays
  • 8am–1pm on Saturdays.

Generally, no work is carried out on Sundays or public holidays.

Work required outside these hours is carried out in accordance with conditions of approval and the Environment Protection Licence.

Tunnelling work (and activities to support tunnelling) is carried out 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

A health assessment formed part of the Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for approved WestConnex projects. We consulted with NSW Health to ensure our assessment of potential health impacts was appropriate. 

There are lots of opportunities for Australian businesses and people to get involved in delivering WestConnex: 

  • If you are a company looking to supply goods or services, please see Industry
  • If you are an individual looking for work, see Job opportunities. 

For each WestConnex project, a series of documents including details of the measures to appropriately manage and reduce the impact of the project on local communities. These include: 

  • The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – the EIS explores the potential environmental impact and outlines measures to manage and reduce this impact based on best practice and expert advice. 
  • The Submissions Report – this responds to all feedback received on the EIS during exhibition. It provides additional mitigation measures needed in response to new information, additional assessment or community feedback. 
  • The Conditions of Approval – in approving each project, the NSW Minister for Planning issues a range of conditions that must be adhered to during and after construction, to ensure impact of the project is mitigated. 
  • The Construction Environmental Management Plan and sub plans – before we start major work, these are prepared to provide a detailed approach to the management of environmental issues. The Department of Planning and Environment must approve these before major construction work can start. They build on the mitigation and management measures established in the EIS, the Submissions Report and Conditions of Approval.

We always notify local communities before we start a new section of work and before we do any out-of-hours work. 

Usually each tunnel has a ventilation facility at the start and end, with up to three for each section. The exact number is confirmed during design. See our Interactive map for details.

They are designed in line with world's best practice and are safe for motorists and the community.

Traffic outcomes

All Sydney road tunnels have management plans that involve monitoring tunnel air quality 24-hours a day and they must comply with independent pre-determined guidelines for in-tunnel air quality. 

The WestConnex air quality management plan will follow stringent guidelines and take account of the final design of the route, the length of each section of tunnel and the location of ventilation outlets. 

For more information, visit Air quality.

A new interchange will be built at the site of the old Alexandria Landfill in St Peters. This will provide connections to the New M5 in 2020, and the M4–M5 Link and Sydney Gateway when these new roads are completed in 2023. 

Local streets and intersections around the St Peters Interchange will be upgraded to ensure safe and efficient connections for the New M5, and cater for future traffic growth.

This includes an additional road crossing over the Alexandra Canal and supporting road changes to ease congestion on Ricketty Street Bridge. A new signalised pedestrian crossing, wider footpaths and potential off-street parking will mean safer access to St Peters Public School. Locals will also enjoy 12 kilometres of pedestrian and cycle paths, and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over Alexandra Canal linking Mascot Town Centre and Sydney Park.

WestConnex projects will open to traffic in stages between 2017 and 2023. See our Interactive map

WestConnex has a distance-based tolling system, like the existing M7 Motorway. Motorists pay only for the sections of the motorway they use and a maximum cap applies.

Tolls will be introduced as each section of WestConnex opens to traffic. The new M4 opened to traffic in July 2017, and distance-based tolls commenced in August 2017. 

Distance based tolling will begin on the M5 East and the New M5 when the New M5 opens to traffic in early 2020.

Cars will pay one third of the heavy truck toll, reflecting the greater wear and tear trucks have on the motorway (an approach that is consistent with other Sydney motorways).

For the current toll estimates, see WestConnex tolls.

 

In 2013, King Street was identified in the Sydney Clearways Strategy for further investigation of possible extended weekday and weekend clearways, based on an assessment of traffic volumes and travel speeds at that time.   

It is understood that when the M4-M5 Link is complete in 2023, daily weekday traffic volumes are forecast to decrease on King Street with 4000 vehicles removed (compared to without the project).

As a result, there are no plans to change the existing clearways on King Street, Newtown, at this time.

Roads and Maritime has not carried out further investigations for clearways on King Street at Newtown.

Transferring vehicles from surface roads into free-flowing underground motorway tunnels will improve the air quality along existing surface roads where traffic is reduced.

For example, an independent air quality assessment detailed in the M4 East EIS found air quality will generally improve along the Parramatta Road corridor because of traffic shifting to WestConnex.

Motorists will have a smooth motorway to travel on, rather than being stuck in congested, stop-start traffic with traffic lights, and this will reduce emissions.

Our tunnels are also designed to reduce emissions, as they are generally flatter and less steep at the entries and exits.

Economy

Roads and public transport investment aren’t ‘either-or’ options. Roads, rail, light rail, ferries and buses are all part of the transport solution.

WestConnex is just one of more than 80 projects outlined in the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan to address the state’s complex transport needs. It is a critical part of all of these integrated strategies to tackle congestion and increase productivity for a growing city.

Not all trips in Sydney can be undertaken by public transport. By 2036, more than 70 per cent of the proportion of increased travel demand in Sydney will be by car. By 2036, 45 per cent of public transport will be via bus services, which rely on the road network.

The NSW Government is investing $41.5 billion (2016–17 NSW Budget) in transport projects during the next four years. This includes both roads and public transport – upgrading the bus fleet, and building the CBD and South East Light Rail, Sydney Metro and Parramatta Light Rail.

Public transport

Roads and public transport investment aren’t ‘either-or’ options. Roads, rail, light rail, ferries and buses are all part of the transport solution.

WestConnex is just one of more than 80 projects outlined in the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan to address the state’s complex transport needs. It is a critical part of all of these integrated strategies to tackle congestion and increase productivity for a growing city.

Not all trips in Sydney can be undertaken by public transport. By 2036, more than 70 per cent of the proportion of increased travel demand in Sydney will be by car. By 2036, 45 per cent of public transport will be via bus services, which rely on the road network.

The NSW Government is investing $41.5 billion (2016–17 NSW Budget) in transport projects during the next four years. This includes both roads and public transport – upgrading the bus fleet, and building the CBD and South East Light Rail, Sydney Metro and Parramatta Light Rail.

Sydney’s population is set to grow by about 1.6 million people between 2011 and 2031. Extra people means extra traffic and by 2031, the road network will cater for an estimated 19 million trips per day.

The traffic growth is not just more people travelling to and from work. It is:

  • People running their kids to sport and doing their weekly grocery shop
  • Tradespeople working across the city
  • Freight vehicles moving more goods to support the increased population
  • Couriers supporting online shopping and business deliveries
  • More buses getting people from A to B.

Public transport alone cannot meet these diverse travel needs. Improved road infrastructure is going to remain a critical part of the solution.

Tolls

Only once a year. Unlike the majority of New South Wales motorways which increase quarterly, WestConnex tolls increase annually on 1 January.  There will be a maximum increase per annum of four per cent or the consumer price index (CPI) – whichever is greater – until 2040. After that, CPI will apply. Read more about WestConnex tolls.

Tolls will be charged once new or significantly upgraded sections of road are opened to motorists. The new M4 (Parramatta to Homebush) opened in July 2017, with a one-month toll-free period. Distance-based tolls apply on the new M4.

Tolls will be charged on the M5 East and the New M5 when the New M5 is open to traffic in early 2020.

We will advise motorists before any tolls are introduced on other sections of WestConnex. 

WestConnex has a distance-based tolling system, like the existing M7 Motorway. Motorists pay only for the sections of the motorway they use and a maximum cap applies.

Tolls will be introduced as each section of WestConnex opens to traffic. The new M4 opened to traffic in July 2017, and distance-based tolls commenced in August 2017. 

Distance based tolling will begin on the M5 East and the New M5 when the New M5 opens to traffic in early 2020.

Cars will pay one third of the heavy truck toll, reflecting the greater wear and tear trucks have on the motorway (an approach that is consistent with other Sydney motorways).

For the current toll estimates, see WestConnex tolls.

 

WestConnex is being delivered by an innovative financing model which includes an initial contribution from the NSW and Australian governments, with private sector debt, supported by tolling revenue and proceeds from the 51% sale of Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC), providing the remaining funding for the project.

A majority 51% share of the Government’s equity in the project has been sold, effectively recycling the NSW Government’s contribution for reinvestment into other state significant priorities.

That means NSW gets much needed infrastructure for a relatively small initial outlay which has been returned via the SMC sale, making it an exceptional value proposition for taxpayers.

It also means the government can reinvest money into other critical infrastructure needs such as further transport, hospitals and schools.

The Benefit Cost Ratio for the project is 1:88 with wider economic benefits and 1:71 without wider economic impacts, which demonstrates the remarkable return on investment WestConnex delivers for Sydneysiders.

Some drivers will prefer to use the faster, wider WestConnex New M4 motorway. Others will prefer to use Parramatta Road. There will always be a choice.

Using the WestConnex New M4 allows you to bypass 28 sets of traffic lights and a level crossing on Parramatta Road between Church Street Parramatta and Concord – meaning faster, safer and more reliable trips.

New and significantly improved sections of motorway delivered as part of WestConnex will be tolled as they progressively open to traffic between mid-2017 and 2023. Visit the tolls page for more information.

The first major part of WestConnex is now open - the new M4 between Parramatta and Homebush, which will provide motorists with better access ramps, new smoother road surfaces and extra lanes in each direction. Distance-based tolls apply on the new M4. More than 80 percent of the M4 - between Emu Plains and Parramatta - remains free.

We are doubling the capacity of the M5 East corridor by building a New M5 which will help almost halve average travel times on the current M5 East and double average travel speeds during peak times. We are also upgrading part of the M5 East and a toll will be introduced on this motorway to account for the significant improvements in travel time and reliability motorists will experience once the WestConnex New M5 is opened. 

Trips using Marsh Street ramps (between Marsh Street and General Holmes Drive) will remain toll free.

Community

Community or social cohesion programs will be implemented to enhance the cohesion in precincts directly affected by WestConnex. Initiatives may include enhancement of open space, accessibility of public areas, active community involvement and engagement, support of community initiatives and provision of grants to eligible groups in the local community. 

A new interchange will be built at the site of the old Alexandria Landfill in St Peters. This will provide connections to the New M5 in 2020, and the M4–M5 Link and Sydney Gateway when these new roads are completed in 2023. 

Local streets and intersections around the St Peters Interchange will be upgraded to ensure safe and efficient connections for the New M5, and cater for future traffic growth.

This includes an additional road crossing over the Alexandra Canal and supporting road changes to ease congestion on Ricketty Street Bridge. A new signalised pedestrian crossing, wider footpaths and potential off-street parking will mean safer access to St Peters Public School. Locals will also enjoy 12 kilometres of pedestrian and cycle paths, and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over Alexandra Canal linking Mascot Town Centre and Sydney Park.

Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) is committed to supporting western Sydney communities through key community partnerships and programs that provide long term benefits to those who need it most.

SMC’s community partnerships with the GWS Giants and Wests Tigers will ensure positive and lasting outcomes for thousands of people based in western Sydney through the delivery of targeted community programs.  

These programs deliver positive outcomes in health, education and skills, and harmony outcomes.

The community partnerships are one part of SMC’s Community Connections Program, which also includes the SMC Community Grant Scheme.

Sydney Motorway Corporation is committed to making a meaningful and long term contribution to the communities in which it operates by investing in community-focussed programs during construction of WestConnex.

Legacy is defined as delivering sustainable and lasting benefits to the local economy, community and natural environment.

Legacy projects will be identified and developed in consultation with the community, local councils and community groups.

The planning approval to construct each stage of WestConnex includes conditions to incorporate and deliver social and environmental outcomes including the requirement for an Urban Design and Landscaping Plan, a Social Cohesion Plan, and a Residual Land Management Plan.

Two thirds of WestConnex is being built in underground motorway tunnels – minimising land acquisition and reducing impact on local communities.

Where possible we also: 

  • Work within existing road reservations
  • Use existing government-owned land.

Where we do need to acquire land, we aim to facilitate a fair and straightforward acquisition process for owners. Impacted property owners are compensated and paid market value for their property as per the entitlements set out in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. 

Roads and Maritime Services will make an offer to the owner of a required property based on a market valuation it has obtained from a qualified independent property valuer. Property owners are also entitled to obtain their own market valuation from a qualified property valuer of their choice. Reasonable fees for the valuation obtained will be reimbursed to the owner at the time of settlement.

If the two valuations differ, the valuation reports are exchanged and discussions between the parties take place involving the respective valuers with the objective of achieving a professional agreement based on market evidence. The owners are invited to attend meetings with the valuers and Roads and Maritime Services, which undertakes the property acquisition process for WestConnex. Roads and Maritime Services endeavours at all times to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement on the value of the property. 
Property owners are also entitled to reimbursement for reasonable costs associated with the acquisition including:

  • Conveyancing or legal advice 
  • Mortgage re-establishment costs and other payments 
  • Stamp duty costs for the purchase of property of equal value to the property being acquired.
  • Relocation expenses.

See Roads and Maritime Services land acquisition information guide, July 2014 for further details.

For business properties, business owners are compensated under the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. Compensation for business relocation costs are considered in assessing the business owner’s entitlement to compensation. 

In addition to the owner’s entitlement to compensation under the Act, an independent, confidential counselling service is available to support people facing significant change as a result of the project. 

Sydney Motorway Corporation's (SMC) Community Connections Program includes the SMC Community Grant Scheme, which provides grants of up to $10,000 to local groups such as such as schools, sporting associations and social enterprises located in and around the WestConnex project area.

Grant applications are assessed against guidelines, which consider areas including community legacy, connecting communities, building capacity and helping people.

Sydney Motorway Corporation is strongly committed to working closely with local councils and other stakeholders during all stages of the project. 

Local councils are helping ensure we achieve the best outcomes for the motorway and the community. We will continue to work with local councils across all stages of the project.

Environment

A new interchange will be built at the site of the old Alexandria Landfill in St Peters. This will provide connections to the New M5 in 2020, and the M4–M5 Link and Sydney Gateway when these new roads are completed in 2023. 

Local streets and intersections around the St Peters Interchange will be upgraded to ensure safe and efficient connections for the New M5, and cater for future traffic growth.

This includes an additional road crossing over the Alexandra Canal and supporting road changes to ease congestion on Ricketty Street Bridge. A new signalised pedestrian crossing, wider footpaths and potential off-street parking will mean safer access to St Peters Public School. Locals will also enjoy 12 kilometres of pedestrian and cycle paths, and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over Alexandra Canal linking Mascot Town Centre and Sydney Park.

The M4–M5 Link geotechnical investigations are being carried out as ‘exempt development’ under clause 97(i)(h) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (ISEPP) in accordance with clause 20 of the ISEPP. No Environmental Management Plan is required for ‘exempt development’ under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

In a number of places, the investigations are being carried out under the Roads Act 1993, including under sections 71, 72 and 25.

For each WestConnex project, a series of documents including details of the measures to appropriately manage and reduce the impact of the project on local communities. These include: 

  • The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – the EIS explores the potential environmental impact and outlines measures to manage and reduce this impact based on best practice and expert advice. 
  • The Submissions Report – this responds to all feedback received on the EIS during exhibition. It provides additional mitigation measures needed in response to new information, additional assessment or community feedback. 
  • The Conditions of Approval – in approving each project, the NSW Minister for Planning issues a range of conditions that must be adhered to during and after construction, to ensure impact of the project is mitigated. 
  • The Construction Environmental Management Plan and sub plans – before we start major work, these are prepared to provide a detailed approach to the management of environmental issues. The Department of Planning and Environment must approve these before major construction work can start. They build on the mitigation and management measures established in the EIS, the Submissions Report and Conditions of Approval.

We always notify local communities before we start a new section of work and before we do any out-of-hours work. 

Usually each tunnel has a ventilation facility at the start and end, with up to three for each section. The exact number is confirmed during design. See our Interactive map for details.

They are designed in line with world's best practice and are safe for motorists and the community.

Transferring vehicles from surface roads into free-flowing underground motorway tunnels will improve the air quality along existing surface roads where traffic is reduced.

For example, an independent air quality assessment detailed in the M4 East EIS found air quality will generally improve along the Parramatta Road corridor because of traffic shifting to WestConnex.

Motorists will have a smooth motorway to travel on, rather than being stuck in congested, stop-start traffic with traffic lights, and this will reduce emissions.

Our tunnels are also designed to reduce emissions, as they are generally flatter and less steep at the entries and exits.

Parramatta Road

Visit our Traffic changes page for information on traffic during construction.

Traffic modelling tells us the expected demand for WestConnex and the number of traffic lanes needed. The motorway has been designed to meet traffic demand now and in the future.

The number of lanes varies across the project: 

  • M4: the M4 Motorway has been widenedfrom three lanes in each direction to four lanes in each direction between Parramatta and Homebush. The new M4 East tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield will be three lanes in each direction.
  • New M5: when the tunnels open, there will generally be two lanes in each direction between Kingsgrove and St Peters. The tunnels can accommodate three lanes in each direction in future, with additional approvals needed for this change.
  • M4–M5 Link: The M4-M5 Link will provide twin underground tunnels with four lanes in each direction between Haberfield and St Peters.

Some drivers will prefer to use the faster, wider WestConnex New M4 motorway. Others will prefer to use Parramatta Road. There will always be a choice.

Using the WestConnex New M4 allows you to bypass 28 sets of traffic lights and a level crossing on Parramatta Road between Church Street Parramatta and Concord – meaning faster, safer and more reliable trips.

Traffic disruption (construction)

Visit our Traffic changes page for information on traffic during construction.

Funding

WestConnex is valued at $16.8 billion. See Funding.

Existing Australian Government and State financing for WestConnex is fully committed to and secured.

WestConnex is being delivered by an innovative financing model which includes an initial contribution from the NSW and Australian governments, with private sector debt, supported by tolling revenue and proceeds from the 51% sale of Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC), providing the remaining funding for the project.

A majority 51% share of the Government’s equity in the project has been sold, effectively recycling the NSW Government’s contribution for reinvestment into other state significant priorities.

That means NSW gets much needed infrastructure for a relatively small initial outlay which has been returned via the SMC sale, making it an exceptional value proposition for taxpayers.

It also means the government can reinvest money into other critical infrastructure needs such as further transport, hospitals and schools.

The Benefit Cost Ratio for the project is 1:88 with wider economic benefits and 1:71 without wider economic impacts, which demonstrates the remarkable return on investment WestConnex delivers for Sydneysiders.

New and significantly improved sections of motorway delivered as part of WestConnex will be tolled as they progressively open to traffic between mid-2017 and 2023. Visit the tolls page for more information.

The first major part of WestConnex is now open - the new M4 between Parramatta and Homebush, which will provide motorists with better access ramps, new smoother road surfaces and extra lanes in each direction. Distance-based tolls apply on the new M4. More than 80 percent of the M4 - between Emu Plains and Parramatta - remains free.

We are doubling the capacity of the M5 East corridor by building a New M5 which will help almost halve average travel times on the current M5 East and double average travel speeds during peak times. We are also upgrading part of the M5 East and a toll will be introduced on this motorway to account for the significant improvements in travel time and reliability motorists will experience once the WestConnex New M5 is opened. 

Trips using Marsh Street ramps (between Marsh Street and General Holmes Drive) will remain toll free.

Roads and Maritime Services

Two thirds of WestConnex is being built in underground motorway tunnels – minimising land acquisition and reducing impact on local communities.

Where possible we also: 

  • Work within existing road reservations
  • Use existing government-owned land.

Where we do need to acquire land, we aim to facilitate a fair and straightforward acquisition process for owners. Impacted property owners are compensated and paid market value for their property as per the entitlements set out in the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. 

Roads and Maritime Services will make an offer to the owner of a required property based on a market valuation it has obtained from a qualified independent property valuer. Property owners are also entitled to obtain their own market valuation from a qualified property valuer of their choice. Reasonable fees for the valuation obtained will be reimbursed to the owner at the time of settlement.

If the two valuations differ, the valuation reports are exchanged and discussions between the parties take place involving the respective valuers with the objective of achieving a professional agreement based on market evidence. The owners are invited to attend meetings with the valuers and Roads and Maritime Services, which undertakes the property acquisition process for WestConnex. Roads and Maritime Services endeavours at all times to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement on the value of the property. 
Property owners are also entitled to reimbursement for reasonable costs associated with the acquisition including:

  • Conveyancing or legal advice 
  • Mortgage re-establishment costs and other payments 
  • Stamp duty costs for the purchase of property of equal value to the property being acquired.
  • Relocation expenses.

See Roads and Maritime Services land acquisition information guide, July 2014 for further details.

For business properties, business owners are compensated under the provisions of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991. Compensation for business relocation costs are considered in assessing the business owner’s entitlement to compensation. 

In addition to the owner’s entitlement to compensation under the Act, an independent, confidential counselling service is available to support people facing significant change as a result of the project. 

Benefits

WestConnex is generating more than 18 hectares of new open space for communities in the inner west. 

We sometimes use parks and other government-owned land during construction. This helps us to avoid the acquisition of private property. When we use green space during construction, we always try to return it for community use when construction is finished. 

Industry

There are lots of opportunities for Australian businesses and people to get involved in delivering WestConnex: 

  • If you are a company looking to supply goods or services, please see Industry
  • If you are an individual looking for work, see Job opportunities. 

Jobs

There are lots of opportunities for Australian businesses and people to get involved in delivering WestConnex: 

  • If you are a company looking to supply goods or services, please see Industry
  • If you are an individual looking for work, see Job opportunities. 

Engagement

Sydney Motorway Corporation is strongly committed to working closely with local councils and other stakeholders during all stages of the project. 

Local councils are helping ensure we achieve the best outcomes for the motorway and the community. We will continue to work with local councils across all stages of the project.

For each WestConnex project, a series of documents including details of the measures to appropriately manage and reduce the impact of the project on local communities. These include: 

  • The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – the EIS explores the potential environmental impact and outlines measures to manage and reduce this impact based on best practice and expert advice. 
  • The Submissions Report – this responds to all feedback received on the EIS during exhibition. It provides additional mitigation measures needed in response to new information, additional assessment or community feedback. 
  • The Conditions of Approval – in approving each project, the NSW Minister for Planning issues a range of conditions that must be adhered to during and after construction, to ensure impact of the project is mitigated. 
  • The Construction Environmental Management Plan and sub plans – before we start major work, these are prepared to provide a detailed approach to the management of environmental issues. The Department of Planning and Environment must approve these before major construction work can start. They build on the mitigation and management measures established in the EIS, the Submissions Report and Conditions of Approval.

We always notify local communities before we start a new section of work and before we do any out-of-hours work. 

Heritage

Sydney Motorway Corporation is strongly committed to working closely with local councils and other stakeholders during all stages of the project. 

Local councils are helping ensure we achieve the best outcomes for the motorway and the community. We will continue to work with local councils across all stages of the project.

Airport

Sydney Gateway will provide a high-capacity connection between the St Peters Interchange and the Sydney Airport and Port Botany precincts. It will form the major link between Sydney’s motorway network and international gateways by 2023.