Companies from around the world are being called on to submit expressions of interest for a multi-billion dollar contract to build the second part of the first stage of the WestConnex Motorway.

In a joint statement released on Sunday, New South Wales Roads Minister Duncan Gay and Federal Assistant Minister for Regional Development Jamie Briggs said Expressions of Interest to build Stage One of the $11.0-$11.5 billion project are now open, and encouraged firms both domestic and global were encouraged to apply.

Set to provide a 33-kilometre continuous roadway linking Sydney’s West, CBD and South West, the WestConnex project will be delivered in three stages and will include a widening of the M4 east of Parramatta and duplication of the M5 East and new sections of motorway to provide a connection between the two corridors. It is part of an integrated transport plan which also includes the North West Rail Link as well as light rail services for Sydney’s inner-west and eastern suburbs.

The latest contract will involve construction of new five-kilometre tunnels to extend the M4 from Homebush Bay Drive to Parramatta Road and the City West Link as well as the widening of one kilometre of the existing M4.

The opening of the tender process for the latest contracted follows the short listing in March of four parties who will be invited to bid for an earlier contract to widen a 7.5-kilometre stretch of the existing M4 to four lanes on each side between Church Street in Parramatta and Homebush Bay Drive, with the successful tenderer set to be announced by the middle of next year.

Short listed candidates for that contract include Lend Lease Engineering, Thiess, a joint venture between Melbourne based civil engineering contractor McDonnell Dowell and Tennessee-based supply chain management company OHL, and a joint venture between Leighton and Italian general construction giant Rizzani De Eccher.

Gay said the overall WestConnex project will reduce travel times from Parramatta to Sydney Airport by 40 minutes, allow motorists to bypass 52 sets of traffic lights and remove up to 3,000 trucks per day from Parramatta Road while generating up to 10,000 jobs during construction.

He added that the tender process is open to companies from Australia, North America, Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

“We want industry to provide innovative solutions to how the M4 East tunnel could be constructed, using modern techniques to achieve the best outcomes for motorists and taxpayers,” Gay said.