The breakthrough marks 70% completion of mainline tunnelling for the tunnels, which are part of the West Connex project.
New South Wales (NSW) premier Gladys Berejiklian was among those witnessing the milestone, which took place 40m below ground.
“In a little over one year, New M4 crews have carved out an impressive nine kilometres of future WestConnex tunnel which will unclog suburban streets and provide seamless travel between Haberfield and Homebush and beyond from 2019,” said Berejiklian. “We have 21 roadheaders working 24 hours a day to deliver new road tunnels between Homebush and Haberfield, and we’re proud of our progress on this massive engineering feat which is an absolute first for Sydney.”
The New M4 tunnels will connect to the widened M4 and extend it underground, three lanes in each direction, from Homebush to Haberfield, allowing motorists to bypass the current bottleneck where the M4 ends at Parramatta Road, Concord.
Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres said the flow on benefits from WestConnex are enormous with more than $1 billion in contracts signed for goods and services on the New M4 section alone. “WestConnex has created a veritable jobs boom – more than half of people involved in the New M4 hail from greater Western Sydney and more than 10,000 people will be employed across the life of the project,” he said. “The next significant phase of work - tunnel fit out – gets under way in the coming months, while the Powells Creek on-ramp, is scheduled to open to traffic later this year.”