The Australian and NSW governments are another step closer to fixing what is considered Sydney’s worst motorway traffic bottleneck.
Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne and NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay today released the preferred design for the New M5, which will more than double capacity on the M5 East corridor.
Motorists driving from south western Sydney will continue to use the existing M5 East to access Sydney Airport and suburbs south and east of the airport like Brighton Le Sands and Maroubra.
Alternatively, they will be able to use the New M5 – which will feature twin tunnels – to access suburbs north of the airport such as Marrickville, and for a direct connection to the Alexandria employment hub.
Minister Payne said delivering relief on this busy motorway was a decade overdue and was critical to eliminating crippling traffic congestion and supporting jobs and economic growth.
“Congestion is costing Sydney $5 billion annually in time delays and lost productivity, meaning people are spending less time being productive at work or at home with their families,” Minister Payne said.
“We need to keep Sydney moving as our population grows and WestConnex is a key part of our road and public transport solution to ensure we slash travel times for motorists now and in the future.
“WestConnex will generate more than $20 billion worth of benefits to the Australian economy, while creating almost 10,000 jobs during the construction phase alone.
“The New M5 will be delivered to motorists up to 18 months sooner thanks to the Australian Government’s concessional loan of up to $2 billion.”
Travelling from west to east, motorists will enter one of the New M5 twin tunnels adjacent to the Kingsgrove industrial estate and travel underground for nine kilometres to St Peters.
Motorists travelling from east to west will follow the same corridor route in the second tunnel (i.e. entering at St Peters and exiting at Kingsgrove).
When WestConnex is completed, motorists will have the choice to stay on the New M5 for an underground connection to the M4 (bypassing King Street, Newtown) or surface at the St Peters Interchange to access a number of direct connections to areas such as Alexandria, Redfern and Mascot.
The St Peters Interchange will be built on an existing waste facility, known as the Alexandria Landfill, and will be transformed to include more than eight hectares of new green open space which equates to almost ten football fields; improving amenity for local residents.
This includes more than two hectares of new green open space which will connect to Sydney Park by a pedestrian and cyclist overpass bridge of Campbell Road.
Minister Gay said motorists are already enjoying the benefits of a widened M5 West but come to an abrupt halt when they hit the notorious traffic pinch point at the existing M5 East tunnel.
“We don’t deliver projects by halves and I’m committed to completing the missing link between the M5 and M4; delivering on our promise to get Sydney motorists home to their families sooner.
“When WestConnex is completed, traffic currently rat running on residential streets will be able to access a continuous free flowing motorway. This will ensure only people who want to use local streets to access local businesses like cafes, restaurants and shops will.”
WestConnex is designed to limit land acquisitions wherever possible and more than two thirds is being built underground and in existing road corridors.
The Leighton Dragados Samsung Joint Venture has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the New M5.
Subject to planning approval, work on the New M5 will start mid next year, with the tunnel due to open to traffic in 2019.
Key features of the New M5 Motorway include:
- New twin tunnels with a capacity for three lanes in each direction (i.e. six lanes). These new twin tunnels add to the existing M5 East tunnels which have two lanes in each direction (i.e. four lanes).
- New twin tunnels will be ‘flatter’ in gradient meaning trucks won’t struggle up an incline; thereby reducing vehicle emissions. The twin tunnels will also have a height of 5.3 metres, reducing the risk of overheight truck incidents.
- Connection to an upgraded King Georges Road Interchange, which will cut travel times by up to half for more than 40,000 motorists who use the interchange daily.
- Surface connections at St Peters Interchange, will include:
o Euston Road, to take motorists to areas such as the southern part of Alexandria, Green Square and Redfern.
o A new bridge across the canal to Gardeners Road, to take motorists on to Mascot.
o Campbell Street/Road to take motorists towards St Peters and Marrickville.
- No impact on Wolli Creek Bushland and Tempe Wetlands.
- During peak construction period, the New M5 will create more than 1,500 direct full time construction jobs.