**Download vision of tunnel breakthrough below
FINAL TUNNEL BREAKTHROUGH ON NEW M5
16 December 2018
WestConnex is another step closer to completion following the final tunnel breakthrough on the New M5 motorway between Kingsgrove and St Peters.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres today visited the New M5, where a massive roadheader from Arncliffe has now carved through to the St Peters Interchange.
“Today marks a significant milestone with excavation work on the New M5’s twin nine kilometre tunnels now complete,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The M5 East tunnels are one of Labor’s big failures. They were built far too small and remain one of Sydney’s biggest traffic headaches.
“In just over a year, this Government’s new tunnels will double capacity of the M5 corridor, cutting travel times by up to 30 minutes in each direction.
“This investment in cutting congestion is only possible because of the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.”
Opening to traffic in early 2020, the $4.3 billion New M5 will double capacity from two lanes to four, providing a non-stop underground journey between Kingsgrove and St Peters. The new tunnels are also over half a metre taller than the existing M5, so that trucks won’t hit the roof as they often do on Labor’s tunnel.
“Tunnelling activities have been underway for almost two years on the New M5, with 21 roadheaders working around the clock at peak construction,” Mr Ayres said.
“WestConnex is one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure projects, and is a major employer of apprentices and tradespeople, including 3,000 from Western Sydney on the New M5 so far.
“Contrary to the lies of NSW Labor, WestConnex remains on budget at $16.8 billion, and on schedule to be completed by the end of 2023.”
Work underground has now turned to the installation of the road pavement and the mechanical and electrical fitout of the tunnels with more than five kilometres of road pavement already laid.
When the New M5 opens to traffic in early 2020 it will cut up to half an hour from an average peak journey between Liverpool and South Sydney, providing relief for the more than 100,000 drivers who use the corridor each day.
Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population the Hon Alan Tudge said this project will be a lasting legacy to the people of Sydney with more public open space and significantly improved commuting times.
“Westconnex will improve the quality of life for hardworking families by cutting down travel times and removing trucks off local roads,” Mr Tudge said.
When completed, drivers who use WestConnex between Liverpool and South Sydney each workday will save at least five hours a week, allowing them to spend more time at home and less time sitting in traffic.
WestConnex will provide more than 14 kilometres of new and upgraded cycle and pedestrian paths, linked to existing cycleways, and provide a bypass for motorists for up to 52 sets of traffic lights.
For vision of the tunnel breakthrough: