WestConnex will provide 33 kilometres of motorway to link western and south-western Sydney with the city, Kingsford Smith Airport and Port Botany precincts. It will largely be constructed in the M4 and M5 corridors and will comprise approximately 14 kilometres of road above ground and approximately 19 kilometres of tunnels, including a new tunnel linking the two corridors.
The WestConnex project will be delivered in stages to 2023 as follows:
- Stage 1A, M4 Widening (Parramatta to Homebush) - widening the existing M4 Motorway from Parramatta to Homebush.
- Stage 1B, M4 East (Homebush to Haberfield) - extending the M4 Motorway in tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield via Concord. Includes provision for the future connection to M4-M5 Link.
- The New M5 (Beverly Hills to St Peters) – duplicating the M5 East from King Georges Road in Beverly Hills with tunnels from Kingsgrove to a new interchange at St Peters. The St Peters Interchange allows for connections to the Sydney Gateway. The New M5 tunnels include provision for a future connection to the M4-M5 Link.
- King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade (Beverly Hills) – upgrade of the King Georges Road Interchange between the newly widened M5 West and the M5 East at Beverly Hills, in preparation for the New M5.
- Sydney Gateway (St Peters to Kingsford Smith Airport and Port Botany) – a high quality, high capacity connection between the new St Peters Interchange and the Kingsford Smith Airport and Port Botany precinct.
- M4-M5 Link (Haberfield to St Peters) – tunnel connection to the M4 East and New M5 via Rozelle and Camperdown. Includes ramps connecting to the St Peters Interchange and an interchange at Rozelle with provision for a future connection to the Western Harbour Tunnel. It also includes an underground tunnel from the Rozelle Interchange to Victoria Road near Iron Cove Bridge, known as the 'Iron Cove Link'.
WestConnex will also create opportunities for urban renewal, improved liveability and public and active transport improvements along and around Parramatta Road.
When WestConnex is completed, it is expected to deliver the following benefits:
- reducing travel times between Parramatta and Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport by up to 40 minutes;
- effectively halving bus travel times between the Inner West and the city;
- creating around 10,000 jobs during construction;
- more than double capacity on the M5 East corridor;
- bypassing up to 52 sets of traffic lights;
- removing an estimated 4,000 trucks a day from Parramatta Road and putting them underground—triggering the opportunity for neighbourhood revitalisation;
- improving north-south travel times for public buses accessing the Western Rail Line at Burwood and other stations; and
- delivering more than $20 billion in economic benefits to NSW.
On 7 March 2013, the Australian Government provided $25 million to assist the NSW Government to advance planning and develop a business case for WestConnex. The NSW Government provided $30 million for this purpose.
The Australian Government has committed $1.5 billion in funding to deliver WestConnex in partnership with the NSW Government. The Australian Government is also providing a concessional loan of $2 billion to accelerate delivery of the New M5. This is the first major road project to receive concessional loan funding from the Australian Government.
This innovative financing model is enabling Stage 1 and Stage 2 of WestConnex to be delivered concurrently, enabling the New M5 to be delivered at the same time as the widened and extended M4. It has also helped unlock private sector expertise and ensure that maximum value is achieved from taxpayer dollars.
- Construction commenced in March 2015 and is expected to be completed mid-2017.
- In February 2017, the new viaduct or elevated motorway was opened to traffic.
- Planning approval was granted on 21 December 2014.
- On 5 December 2014, the Australian and NSW governments announced that the Rizzani De Eccher Leighton joint venture was awarded the contract to design and construct the M4 Widening.
- Tunnelling commenced in July 2016 and the M4 East is expected to be opened to traffic in early 2019.
- The consortium of Leighton Contractors, Samsung C&T and John Holland was awarded the preferred design and construction contract for the M4 East tunnels and related connections on 4 June 2015.
- The Environmental Impact Statement was on public display for comment in November 2015 and planning approval was granted on 12 February 2016.
- Construction work commenced in July 2016 and tunnelling in November 2016. The New M5 will be open to traffic in early 2020.
- The Leighton Dragados Samsung Joint Venture was selected as the preferred tenderer for the New M5 on 2 September 2015.
- The Environmental Impact Statement was on public display in December 2015 and January 2016.
- State planning approval was granted on 20 April 2016.
- Approval under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was granted on 11 July 2016.
King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade
- Construction commenced in July 2015 on the interchange upgrade and was opened to traffic in December 2016.
- On 11 May 2015, a construction contract was awarded to Fulton Hogan Construction for the upgrade.
- Planning approval for the interchange was granted on 3 March 2015.
- Indicative construction timeframes are 2018-2023.
- The NSW Government is working to optimise and finalise the design in consultation with stakeholders.
- The final stage of WestConnex is in the early planning stages. Construction is expected to commence in 2018 (pending planning approval) and open to traffic in 2023.
- The reference design is expected to be released for public comment in March 2017.
- The Environmental Impact Statement public exhibition and consultation period is expected to occur in mid-2017.
On 20 November 2015, the NSW Government publicly released a redacted version of the WestConnex Updated Strategic Business Case which consolidates the work undertaken in the original business case, taking into account developments in traffic modelling, analyses and scope enhancements.
WestConnex Business Case Executive Summary
WestConnex project website