Construction mid-point identified for first WestConnex tunnel
29 April 2015
Joint release with:
Hon Duncan Gay MLC
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight;
Leader of the Government Legislative Council
The Australian and New South Wales Governments today marked a major milestone in delivering the world class WestConnex project confirming the location of the construction mid-point for the M4 East tunnel, at Concord.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said the location was selected to be the most suitable across all shortlisted tenders, allowing tunnelling to be carried out from the one location and reducing impact on residential properties.
“We are committed to providing information to the community as soon as we can and it is great to be able to confirm the site for the M4 East tunnel mid-point, just weeks after construction started on the M4 widening,” Minister Gay said.
“The location for the mid-point has been identified as Cintra Park Hockey Field, removing the need for residential property acquisition and providing direct access to Parramatta Road for the removal of spoil, ensuring local streets won't be impacted.
“Relocating the local hockey field has been a key priority and we'll be delivering a new and improved field directly across the road in the St Luke's Park precinct.
“The new field will include upgraded amenities such as new player facilities and new lighting towers. All sports that currently use Cintra will be accommodated during construction.
“The mid tunnel point allows all tunnelling work to be carried out from the one location—with the M4 East joining the M4 Widening at Homebush and providing a tunnel to Haberfield—all tunnelling can be carried out in each direction (towards Homebush and Haberfield) from one construction point.
“Work at the mid tunnelling point will occur deep below the road surface, limiting impact to nearby residents. The depth of the mid-point is estimated to be 35 metres—meaning work will occur underground at a depth equivalent to a ten storey building.”
Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs said together with the M4 Widening, the M4 East tunnel forms the 13.5 kilometre Stage One of WestConnex, opening to traffic in 2019.
“When Stage One is completed, motorists travelling between Parramatta and Haberfield will cut their travel time by about 15 minutes and bypass 10 sets of traffic lights, meaning people can spend more time at home or work and less time stuck in traffic,” Minister Briggs said.
“Geotechnical work at the mid-point will start from today and be completed at the end of May.
“Through our multi-billion infrastructure investments we are delivering on our joint plan to slash travel times for motorists and create tens of thousands of jobs for a stronger and more prosperous New South Wales,” Mr Briggs said.
A decision on the preferred tenderer and design is expected to occur in the coming months with construction on the M4 East tunnel to start mid-year.
WestConnex Stage One: Will widen the M4, from Church Street at Parramatta to near Concord Road and extend the M4 via a tunnel under the Parramatta Road corridor to Parramatta Road and City West Link, Haberfield.
WestConnex Stage Two: Will deliver a new M5—to run from the existing M5 East corridor at Beverly Hills via tunnel to St Peters.
WestConnex Stage Three: Will join the M4 and M5 corridors in the middle—will deliver a motorway tunnel with three lanes in each direction that joins the first two stages.