Major firms advise on Australia’s largest road project

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Allens has advised the WestConnex Delivery Authority on a design and construction contract worth $2.7bn.

The contract for the M4 East Motorway between WestConnex and Leighton Contractors, Samsung and John Holland, is part of the first stage to the 33km road project.

“It’s a very significant road project in and of itself and WestConnex as a scheme is the biggest road infrastructure project ever in Australia,” said lead Allens partner, Leighton O'Brien.

“The signing of the D&C contract for the M4 East Motorway is a significant step forward in this huge project for New South Wales.”

WestConnex will be built over the next 10 years and is estimated to cost a total of $15bn, and is aimed at reducing congestion on Sydney’s Parramatta Road.

“This will result in an improvement in travel times from the CBD, west and give commuters a really viable alternative to using Parramatta road and hopefully in time will allow that whole corridor to be deployed and used for other things. There will be an urban regeneration project off the back of the opening WestConnex,” added O’Brien.

The WestConnex scheme is almost entirely funded by the NSW Government, which O’Brien said is atypical of recent infrastructure projects, which are typically privately funded.

“It’s significant that the government here in relation to the WestConnex scheme, is using a different procurement model so it has adapted to the changing market conditions,” he said.

The increase in infrastructure transactions is likely to continue over the next few years, with further government projects in the pipeline.

“There will be a number of fairly significant developments in the New South Wales market and potentially nationally once the Victorian government gets Melbourne Metro out into the market in a year or two,” said O’Brien.  “And if and when the Queensland government can look at new projects in the near future as well.”

Ashurst, Clayton Utz and Minter Ellison also acted on the deal.

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