The agreement will allow work on Stage 2 of WestConnex, which duplicates the M5 East, to get under way from next year. This is two years ahead of schedule with a new completion date of 2019.
To make this happen, premier Tony Abbott’s government will provide an additional AU$2bn through a concessional loan to the NSW government.
The 33km motorway will link Sydney’s west and south-west with the central business district, Sydney Airport and Port Botany precincts. It will allow motorists to avoid up to 52 sets of traffic lights on their journey.
The entire project involves 19km of tunnels and 14km of surface roads. It will provide a three to four lane motorway in each direction.
The new memorandum of understanding means that the first and second stages will now be built simultaneously from 2015.