‘Congestion-busting at its best’


The new M4 tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield are expected to slash up to 20 minutes off a trip from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD, allowing drivers to bypass the notoriously congested Parramatta Road.

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RELATED: New Sydney M4 tunnels open this weekend

Workers, guests and media watch on as the first cars drive into the new M4 WestConnex tunnel in Homebush. Picture: AAP/Bianca De MarchiSource:AAP

The 5.5km twin tunnels run three lanes in each direction, bypassing 22 sets of traffic lights.

There will be no toll-free period, with motorists charged up to $7.89 per trip, depending where they enter the M4.

Banner protests marked the opening of the tunnels this morning, amid calls for greater investment into bettering public transport instead.

Sceptical Sydney-siders took to social media to share their thoughts about the government’s latest “congestion-busting” promise.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack cut the ribbon for the long-awaited project on Friday, accompanied by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Roads Minister Andrew Constance.

“These tunnels are a game changer for the people of western Sydney, doubling the capacity of the corridor between Homebush and Haberfield,” said Mr McCormack.

Andrew Constance (left), Gladys Berejiklian (centre left), CSJ training co-ordinator Marlee Mirabito (centre right) and Michael McCormack (right) cut the ribbon to officially open the new M4 WestConnex tunnels. Picture: AAP /Bianca De Marchi

Andrew Constance (left), Gladys Berejiklian (centre left), CSJ training co-ordinator Marlee Mirabito (centre right) and Michael McCormack (right) cut the ribbon to officially open the new M4 WestConnex tunnels. Picture: AAP /Bianca De MarchiSource:AAP

Premier Gladys Berejiklian paid tribute to the 4000 workers including 200 apprentices who had contributed to construction over the last three years. Picture: AAP/Bianca De Marchi

Premier Gladys Berejiklian paid tribute to the 4000 workers including 200 apprentices who had contributed to construction over the last three years. Picture: AAP/Bianca De MarchiSource:AAP

Ms Berejiklian assured drivers they could still use free alternative routes if they wished to bypass tolls, but the project would ultimately help commuters spend less time in traffic.

“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,” she told reporters.

According to Mr Constance, the new tunnels are expected to reduce traffic on Parramatta Road by more than 50 per cent.

The ribbon-cutting took place at the eastbound entrance to the M4 tunnels on Friday, heralding a historic day for Sydney.

The ribbon-cutting took place at the eastbound entrance to the M4 tunnels on Friday, heralding a historic day for Sydney.Source:Supplied

The federal government has contributed $1.5 billion to the total $16.8 billion WestConnex build, a project he said would get people home “sooner and safer”.

“When WestConnex is finished in 2023, drivers will save an estimated 40 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to Sydney Airport,” Mr Constance promised.

The next stage of the WestConnex project — an extension of the M5 to St Peters — is expected to open in 2020. The final stage will link the new M4 at Haberfield to the new M5 at St Peters.





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