Westlink M7

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"Metroad 7" redirects here. For the non-motorway section of the former Metroad 7 in Sydney, see Cumberland Highway.
Westlink M7
New South Wales
Australian motorway Westlink M7.jpg   
Toll gantries at the soutbound end of the Westlink M7..jpg
Toll gantries at Prestons
General information
Type Motorway
Length 40 km (25 mi)
Opened July 2003
(Completed December 2005)
Route number(s)
  • M7
  • Entire length
Major junctions
North end
 
South end
Location(s)
Major suburbs / towns
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in New South Wales

Westlink M7 - formerly Western Sydney Orbital - is one of Sydney, Australia's urban motorways and a part of the Sydney Orbital Network. It is a tolled motorway that is operated by Transurban and connects three motorways: M5 South Western Motorway at Prestons, M4 Western Motorway at Eastern Creek and M2 Hills Motorway at Baulkham Hills. It opened on 16 December 2005, eight months ahead of schedule.

History[edit]

Western Sydney is the fastest growing part of the Sydney metropolitan area. The Ring Road 5 and State Route 55 - and later State Route 77 - originally meant to bypass Sydney, had instead become primary arteries for the western suburbs.

By the late 1990s and first decade of the 21st century Western Sydney had become the third biggest producer of Australia's GDP, after the Sydney CBD and Melbourne. The growth of industrial and residential areas brought about a massive increase in traffic on its local roads. This led to the planning of the Western Sydney Orbital which, among its original purposes, was to serve the stillborn second international airport at Badgerys Creek.

In January 2001 the federal government made a commitment to progressively contribute A$356 million to the M7 project, with the remaining A$1.5 billion required for the design and construction provided by the private sector. The NSW Minister for Planning authorised the undertaking in February 2002.[1][2]

The M7 Motorway was privately funded through an innovative construction contract method known as a "deed" to facilitate the expedition of the tendering phase; several deeds were draw up based on the contractors proposals. The deed was for the full design, construction, operation and maintenance of the motorway including more than 40 kilometres (25 mi) of continuously reinforced concrete (CRCP) and asphalt roads, upgrading of local roads, the longest free-flowing (no toll booths) toll road in the world at the time. More than 90 bridges (of four different types) and the largest shared path network in the southern hemisphere. The design, construct, operate and maintain contract worth at least A$2.0 billion was awarded to WSO (Western Sydney Orbital Pty Ltd) by the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority. The design and construct portion of the contract valued at A$1.8 billion was awarded to a joint venture between ABI Group and Leighton Contractors (ALJV) with design work undertaken by a further joint venture by Maunsell Australia and SMEC (Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation) with further subcontracting to other designers (Arup) and independent verification by Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM). The motorway was opened to traffic in 2005. WSO (commonly known as Westlink) operate the motorway with maintenance subcontracted to Westlink Services and tolling to ROAM. With its opening, Metroad 7 between Liverpool and Beecroft was transferred from Cumberland Highway to Westlink M7. Westlink M7 was the first Sydney motorway to be marked with an alphanumeric shield rather than the hexagonal Metroad shield.

On 25 December 2005, just 9 days after opening, the M7 suffered its first fatality: a 12-year old boy died at Cecil Park when the four-wheel drive he was travelling in rolled down an embankment and onto Elizabeth Drive, almost crushing another car.

Route[edit]

Westlink M7 heading southbound
Light Horse Interchange

The M7 originates at the Roden Cutler Interchange, a Y-junction with the M31 Hume Motorway and M5 South Western Motorway at Prestons, and weaves to the west of Liverpool to the junction of Elizabeth Road and Wallgrove Road in Abbotsbury. From then on it runs parallel to Wallgrove Road north towards the Great Western Highway and the Light Horse interchange, a stack junction with the M4. Continuing north, it leads to Minchinbury and follows alongside Rooty Hill Road up to Dean Park at an exit with Rooty Hill Road North and Richmond Road. From this junction the M7 turns eastward through Quakers Hill and Kings Langley up to the interchange with Old Windsor Road to Norwest Business Park and continues southeast to reconcile with the existing M2 Hills Motorway in Baulkham Hills. It is 4 lanes (2 lanes each way) for its entire length.

Light Horse Interchange[edit]

The Light Horse Interchange is the junction of the M4 and M7 motorways. The stack interchange is the largest of its type in the southern hemisphere. It was named in honour of an Australian World War One formation, the Australian Light Horse.[3]

Tolls[edit]

The Westlink was built as a fully tolled, gateless motorway employing electronic payment, with an initial toll-free period that ended on 15 January 2006. The toll was originally 29.91 cents per kilometre, capped after 20 kilometres (12 mi) at $5.98. On 1 April 2006, this increased to 30.07 cents per kilometre, capped after 20 kilometres (12 mi) at $6.01. As of 2015, the toll was 38.16 cents per kilometre, capped at $7.65, and adjusted quarterly according to the CPI.[4]

Exits and interchanges[edit]

LGA Location km mi Destinations Notes
The Hills Shire Winston Hills – Baulkham Hills boundary 0 0 Hills Motorway (M2) – Sydney, Newcastle North-eastern terminus: continues as Hills Motorway
Bella Vista 2 1 Old Windsor Road (A2) – Seven Hills, Windsor Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Blacktown Glenwood 3 2 Norwest Boulevard to Old Windsor Road – Bella Vista, Castle Hill Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
Glenwood – Kings Langley – Kings Park – Acacia Gardens quadripoint 5 3 Sunnyholt Road – Blacktown, Glenwood
Quakers Hill 9 6 Quakers Hill Parkway – Doonside, Quakers Hill Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Colebee – Dean Park – Glendenning – Oakhurst quadripoint 12 7 Richmond Road – Richmond, Blacktown, Rooty Hill Northbound exit via Rooty Hill Road North
Glendenning–Plumpton boundary 14 9 Power Street – Plumpton, Woodcroft Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Glendenning – Plumpton – Rooty Hill tripoint 15 9 Woodstock Avenue – Rooty Hill, Glendenning Northbound exit and southbound exit
Eastern Creek 18 11 Great Western Highway (A44) – Parramatta, Penrith Southbound exit and northbound entrance
19 12 Western Motorway (M4) – Sydney, Lithgow Stack interchange
21 13 Wallgrove Road – Horsley Park, Rooty Hill
Fairfield Horsley Park 25 16 The Horsley Drive – Horsley Park, Fairfield
Fairfield–Liverpool boundary Abbotsbury – Cecil Park – Cecil Hills tripoint 30 19 Elizabeth Drive – Liverpool, Luddenham Northbound entry via Wallgrove Road
Liverpool Middleton Grange – Len Waters Estate – Hoxton Park tripoint 36 22 Cowpasture Road – Cecil Hills, Horningsea Park
Prestons 38 24 Bernera Road – Prestons, Hinchinbrook
Prestons–Casula boundary 40 25 South Western Motorway (M5) north-east – Bankstown, Sydney, Sydney Airport

Camden Valley Way west / to Hume Highway (A28) east – Bringelly, Camden, Liverpool, Casula

Hume Motorway (M31) south – Campbelltown, Goulburn, Canberra
Southern terminus

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RTA Annual Report 2005" (PDF). Roads and Traffic Authority. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sydney's new motorway opens". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Light Horse Interchange at Westlink
  4. ^ Westlink M7 Toll Calculator, Westlink M7, 1 October 2011, retrieved 9 October 2011 

External links[edit]