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Contract awarded for Sydney’s West Connex tunnel work

The Lendlease Samsung Bouygues Joint Venture (LSBJV) has been appointed by Australia’s New South Wales government to deliver the main tunnelling work on the West Connex M4-M5 Link project.

The design and construct deal, valued at AUS$7.25bn (£4.1bn) includes delivery of 7.5km of twin tunnels which will link the new M4 at Haberfield with the new M5 at St Peters.

The West Connex scheme is formed mainly from underground motorway tunnels that will be wider and taller with shallower inclines than those currently in use on the Sydney road network. The contract awarded to LSBJV will create a western bypass of the central business district and is part of the wider West Connex scheme that is aiming to improve traffic flow in Sydney.

The tunnels will be driven through the Hawkesbury Sandstone and Ashfield Shale. It is expected that the M4 tunnels will be built using roadheaders and traditional rock-breaking, whereas the M5 tunnels are expected to use drill and blast techniques alongside roadheaders. The roadheaders will be used to create the upper two thirds of the tunnel crown while the other techniques will be used for form the invert.

“The M4-M5 Link is a critical project that will drive Sydney’s economic growth, deliver new jobs and training opportunities and provide a vital link between growing communities in inner and western Sydney,” said Lendlease CEO of engineering and services Craig Laslett. “This will mean quicker travel times for more people and easier movement of goods for businesses, making life easier for Sydneysiders.”

Construction work is expected to start later this year.


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