The approach to the F3-M2 Link project has been welcomed as a new funding and risk sharing model for the delivery of major road infrastructure projects in NSW, as well as one that could work equally well in other areas of infrastructure across other states.

That’s the opinion of Michael Batchelor, Chief Executive of AECOM for Australia/New Zealand, the consultant confirmed as Transurban’s Technical Advisor on the project.

Following the New South Wales and Federal Government’s agreement to each contribute $405 million in funding – with the private sector to make up the difference – the $2.65 billion missing link in Sydney’s roads network is progressing to the next stage, promising reduced congestion and travel times for commuters.

“More collaboration is key to securing infrastructure funding and ensuring the go-ahead for projects like the F3-M2 Link,” said Mr Batchelor.

“The F3-M2 Link promises to reduce travel times and ease congestion for commuters; AECOM is proud to be working with the New South Wales and Federal Governments to improve connectivity for Sydney residents and visitors.”

When completed, the F3-M2 Link will provide an 8km tunnel beneath the Pennant Hills Road Corridor linking the M2 motorway to the existing F3 motorway at Wahroonga.

As well as providing environmental approvals and preliminary geotechnical investigations, AECOM will complete reference design and performance specifications for the calling of design and construct tenders by early October 2013.

Infrastructure Partnership Australia Chief Executive Brendan Lyon said the move to issue construction tenders for the project sets a benchmark for smart thinking and cooperation between Federal and State Governments, and the private sector.

“By being smarter about options, the NSW and Federal Governments have leveraged a relatively modest investment to deliver a multi-billion dollar motorway, with private investors filling the gap,” he said.

“If we are going to solve infrastructure funding, then we need to see more collaboration and smart thinking about how we get it done.”

“The NSW Government’s unsolicited bid framework should be judged a success, because it has shifted the needle and made this 60 year old idea into a project.”

“With such a substantial tunnelling requirement, this project is beyond the capacity of tolls alone. That’s why it’s pleasing to see two levels of government step forward to make prudent investments to fill the funding gap.”

Transurban is now seeking tenders from the construction sector for the delivery of the project.