The $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway development project has reached another milestone with the planning application lodged for the much-anticipated final stage of the project. The third and final stage involves the crucial link between the M4 and M5 corridors.
WestConnex development map (source: WestConnex)
A widespread community consultation program is well under way for the third stage of the project. According to Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher and NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, applications have been lodged by Roads and Maritime Services together with the Department of Planning and Environment to allow this program.
“WestConnex will join these two major Sydney corridors via tunnel and create a new western CBD bypass, supporting the additional 1.4 million daily trips expected on the Sydney road network by 2031.” – Minister Paul Fletcher
The M4 East and New M5 tunnels will be connected by the M4-M5 link. The link will also provide connections at Rozelle to Anzac Bridge, Victoria Road and the future Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, and to Parramatta Road at Camperdown.
This step, according to Minister Gay, allows planning for a comprehensive program of community engagement, working with local councils, government agencies, the Greater Sydney Commission, industry as well as other key stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to get their ideas and views on the city-changing infrastructure.
For an infrastructure project of this size, it is standard practice to also look at a range of important environmental factors for the M4-M5 link. This includes potential impacts on local communities, heritage items, and plant and animal biodiversity.
“This section will provide a key link for those travelling along the M4 to the airport and port, saving time and money. It's terrific to see WestConnex, which is a much-needed project for the people of Sydney, taking shape—with work already well underway on the first part of the project, the M4 widening.” – Minister Duncan Gay
The planning application’s lodgement followed the release of the updated WestConnex business case on November 2015. It will help set the steps leading up to the environemental impact statement to be set on display early 2017.
Stage 3 timeline (source: WestConnex)
The M4-M5 Link is the third and final stage of the WestConnex development project. Stage 3 will be linking the M4 and M5 between Haberfield, Rozelle and St. Peters via a 9.2-kilometre tunnel, and will have three lanes in each direction.
Work on the M4-M5 Link is set to start in 2019 and its projected completion is expected in 2023.
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Author's note: Information on this post was sourced from infrastructure.gov.au and Australian Government - WestConnex