New M4 Tunnels officially opened
The new M4 Tunnels have been officially opened and the first drivers will make their way through the 5.5-kilometre tunnels from Homebush to Haberfield early tomorrow morning.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the opening of new M4 tunnels was another important step in the WestConnex project.
“These tunnels are a game changer for the people of western Sydney, doubling the capacity of the corridor between Homebush and Haberfield,” Mr McCormack said.
“We know congestion in our cities is a real problem and the Australian Government is doing everything it can to fix it through our record $100 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects over the next decade.”
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ribbon was cut today on the $3.8 billion project, which will allow drivers to bypass the notoriously congested Parramatta Road.
“These twin tunnels give drivers the option to avoid 22 sets of traffic lights, slashing up to 20 minutes off a trip from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This is a major step towards giving back more time to people, so they spend less time in traffic and more time with family and friends, as well as doing the things they love.”
NSW Minister for Roads and Transport Andrew Constance said there would always be a toll free option for drivers and that the new M4 Tunnels were expected to reduce the overall traffic volume on the existing Parramatta Road by more than 50 per cent.
“Within two years it is expected there will be about 67,000 trips a day through the tunnels, taking traffic off local streets,” Mr Constance said.
“The new M4 Tunnels are the first of four major WestConnex tunnels. When WestConnex is finished in 2023, drivers will save an estimated 40 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to Sydney Airport.”
Federal Member for Reid Fiona Martin said the new M4 tunnels had supported many jobs.
“The new M4 tunnels are higher and wider than others in Sydney and will help to divert an estimated 10,000 trucks per day off Parramatta Road,” Dr Martin said.
“The construction of the tunnels supported more than 4,000 jobs and almost 200 apprentices and trainees. This is a great result for the community.”
The Eastbound tunnel is expected to open from 2am on Saturday, followed by the Westbound tunnel about an hour later.
The $16.8 billion WestConnex project has been jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments, with the Australian Government committing $1.5 billion and providing a concessional loan of $2 billion.