Sydney M5 East

Operation and Maintenance

Egis was involved in the M5 East project from the tender period. It was the first design-construct-operate-maintain (DCOM) contract for a motorway contract in Australia. Egis was a 50% partner in the BHEgis JV, in charge of the operation and maintenance of the M5 East from 2001 until 2011.

Date: 1998-2011
Duration: 13 years
Client: Baulderstone Hornibrook JV/Road and Traffic Authority of New South Wales

Project overview

Connecting the M5 and the Sydney Airport, the M5 East is an 11km 2 by 2 tunnel/roadway system. It has two 2-tube 2-lane tunnels, which are 4.2km and 0.6km in length respectively. The highway carries over 100k vehicles per day, and is a key part of the Sydney Orbital Road Network.

Our service approach to O&M was based on public safety, maximum availability of the motorway, ensuring assets achieve their durability and design life and maintaining the functional performance of the M5 East. Features of this approach include:

  • Optimisation of the control mode of the tunnel ventilation system to balance operating cost against air quality parameters
  • Ongoing training of control room operators to ensure plant management and traffic management skills were best practice
  • Long term scheduling of tunnel maintenance outages to mitigate user inconvenience.
  • Having a traffic control room as the nerve centre of the tunnel operations. The TCR operated on a 24/7 basis with 2 highly trained and experienced operators.

Our key measures of success in this project were:

  • Operation of the M5 East – Australia’s busiest tunnel, and critical to the Sydney road network,
  • Rapid incident response services greatly improved through innovations such as use of shunt pads
  • Providing a rapid and effective response to problems affecting motorway safety (e.g. traffic incidents, damaged equipment, hazardous and non-hazardous spills) and maintaining effective liaison procedures with emergency services and road network agencies
  • Managing in-tunnel air quality standards in very congested conditions

Our missions

The BHEgis JV was in charge of the integrated operation and maintenance of the M5 East, including traffic control operations, incident response, traffic management and planned and reactive maintenance of all tunnel assets, including civil, electrical, mechanical, fire safety and systems.

During the construction phase Egis championed the O&M aspects to ensure that they were given due consideration during the design and construction phase by providing review and comments. This included extensive design review during the D&C period to ensure whole of life and durability issues were accommodated.