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The First Underground Section of Sydney's $16.8-Billion WestConnex Will Open This Weekend

The M4 Tunnels, from Homebush to Haberfield, will open on Saturday — and tolls will start immediately.
By Marissa Ciampi
July 11, 2019
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The First Underground Section of Sydney's $16.8-Billion WestConnex Will Open This Weekend

The M4 Tunnels, from Homebush to Haberfield, will open on Saturday — and tolls will start immediately.
By Marissa Ciampi
July 11, 2019
  shares

It's official: the first underground section of Sydney's $16.8 billion WestConnex project is set to open this Saturday, July 13. It's starting with the new M4 Tunnels, which are planned to cut traffic on Parramatta Road by up to 20 minutes.

The twin tunnels span 5.5-kilometres from Homebush to Haberfield, spanning three lanes in each direction and linking up to the already widened M4 Motorway. That distance will bypass 22 sets of traffic lights and, by 2021, is expected to reduce the overall volume on Parramatta Road by 53 percent.

These tunnels have been under construction for three years and cost $3.8 billion alone, so they'll be hoping this forecast comes to fruition.

It'll cost $4.27 to take the tunnels the full distance from Haberfield to Homebush (with no initial toll-free period), and $7.89 to go all the way to Parramatta along the widened M4. The road is still toll-free west of Parramatta. You can check out all the detailed costings over here.

NSW Government

Still in the works for the WestConnex project are the new M5, the M4-M5 Link Tunnels and the Rozelle Interchange — which will connect Sydney's west and southwest with the city and airport via a continuous 33-kilometre motorway.

While supporters of the motorway (including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian) see this first opening of WestConnex as a win that will cut travel time for those living in Sydney's west, the project has had heavy opposition from Sydney's inner-city communities — who see WestConnex as an environmental and infrastructural nightmare.

Opponents specifically question the NSW Government's decision to invest so much into a project that encourages more cars on the road, instead of one that creates more public transport options. The project has also been seen as a threat to residential neighbourhoods, including the felling of 500 trees in Sydney Park, as reported by the SMH.

For or against, it's happening in three days' time, so get ready.

The WestConnex M4 Tunnels will open this Saturday, July 13 with tolls starting immediately. For more information, head to the NSW Government's website.

Published on July 11, 2019 by Marissa Ciampi

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