Leading international and Australian firms including Lend Lease, Leighton and Ferrovial are amongst a number of builders vying for the right to build the first section of one of Sydney’s biggest road construction projects.

Unveiling the list of contenders to undertake delivery of the $3.4-$3.6 billion M4 Widening – the first stage of the 33-kilometre WestConnex Project linking Sydney’s west with the airport and Port Botany Precinct, state Roads and Transport Minister Duncan Gay announced that six contractors and joint ventures had lodged expressions of interest for the project.


Burwood – Visualisation of location, subject to consultation

These include Thiess; Lend Lease Engineering; a joint venture between Leighton and Italian General Contractor Rizzani De Eccher; another joint venture between local building and engineering contractor McConnell Dowel and US base logistics service provider OHL; a further joint venture involving Italian contractors Salini and Impregilo; and a joint venture involving local real estate and construction firm Laing O’Rourke and Spanish giant Ferrovial Agroman.

Set for completion in 2019, the project will see the M4 upgraded and extended from Parramatta to Haberfield and will include new connections and urban revitalisation along the Parramatta Road Corridor.

EOIs will be evaluated by the WestConnex Delivery Authority, which will announce a shortlist in March before issuing request for tenders and subsequently awarding the design and construct contract by late 2014.

Gay welcomed the list of potential candidates which he said demonstrated strong interest in a project which when complete will save 40 minutes on a typical travel journey between Parramatta and Sydney Airport, bypass up to 52 sets of lights and help Sydney manage an anticipated population increase of 1.3 million over the next two decades.

“We have received strong interest from both national and overseas contractors for the delivery of the M4 Widening, which is due to start construction in 2015,” he said. “This important step brings us closer towards meeting that milestone.”

The latest developments follow the awarding of the contract to AECOM and GHD to carry out the environmental assessment for the M4 East part of the project, which will see the existing motorway widened for one kilometre from Homebush Bay Drive with the additional construction of twin five-kilometre three-lane tunnels to Parramatta Road and City West Link, Haberfield.

The Environmental Impact Statement for this part of the project is expected to be released later this year.