First stage of WestConnex opens
16 Jul 2017
The widened New M4 is officially open to traffic, marking a major step forward in delivering Australia’s largest infrastructure project, WestConnex.
In time for start of the school term, drivers will be experiencing four lanes in each direction between Parramatta and Homebush, following a gradual opening of sections as they have been completed.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian today inspected the widened New M4 at Auburn, as work progresses rapidly on other stages of WestConnex.
“After a massive 4.3 million hours worked, we have got the first section of WestConnex open, but there’s much more to come with the New M4 tunnels now more than half excavated,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“More than 100,000 vehicles a day currently use the M4, which is congested for up to 13 hours a day, costing taxpayers and businesses billions of dollars each year in time delays and lost productivity.”
WestConnex is a part of the NSW Government’s $73 billion infrastructure program to tackle congestion and ease the freight task across Sydney’s west.
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said: “Crews have worked around the clock as part of our plan to build a better Sydney for everyone, so tradies, truckies, mums and dads can get on with their lives instead of being stuck in gridlock every day.
“I thank people for their patience during construction of this first vital section of WestConnex which will deliver faster, safer and more reliable trips.”
A distance-based toll of between $1.77 and $4.56 will be implemented on the widened section of the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush including the new eastbound on-ramp at Hill Road, from 15 August 2017 following a one month toll-free period.
By early 2019, the widened section of the New M4 will connect to the New M4 tunnels currently under construction, creating a traffic-light-free connection between Parramatta and the City West Link at Haberfield.
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.
The fully completed WestConnex will transform Sydney’s transport network by linking the New M4 and New M5 via underground tunnels to create a continuous free-flowing bypass of the CBD, with links to the port and airport precincts.