The M5 East in Sydney's south east opened to traffic in December 2001, and is one of the busiest motorways in Australia, transporting close to 150,000 vehicle journeys per day.

Given the high volume of traffic the motorway sees each day, a project as significant as resheeting the 4km dual carriageway tunnel and two exit ramps required careful planning to mitigate impacts on motorists. 

The scale of the project saw the M5 East team bring in additional resources and expertise from across Ventia, including our VBA team who are responsible for the Stewardship Maintenance Contract in Sydney's south. 

A reduction in traffic on Sydney roads as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic gave the team the opportunity to deliver this large project in a shorter time frame. 

Scoping and delivering the project 

The project involved removing the top layer of asphalt, around 30mm, and replacing it with a new layer. 

The project was scoped and planned in collaboration with TFNSW and Ventia representatives from M5East, the Ventia Project Management Team and VBA Tactical Pavements specialists.  

As you can imagine, the logistics and costs involved in each shift are significant, so a savings of three shifts is a great result for us."  - Site Engineer Dane Naiker

Ventia's team managed to shave three shifts off the overall project plan, whilst still maintaining a focus on safety above all else. The reduction in shifts was made possible due to a number of factors:

Innovation in products. The team utilised a product called Thermapp, a newly developed road loop technology. Road loops are used for vehicle detection for tracking traffic volumes and detecting incidents where traffic backs up. Thermapp has a thinner design than earlier models, meaning less impact on the pavement surface and making it more resilient to traffic. It is also quicker to apply and takes less time to set. 

More efficient use of resources. The team organised four profilers working simultaneously to remove a layer of asphalt and up to 60 trucks throughout the night picking up the profiled asphalt from site. 

Highly experienced crews. With over nine years' experience on this network, the team is very familiar with its requirements. The experience and organisation of Project Manager Paul Khawaga and the team of supervisors from the VBA, along with the team in the M5 East control room and the leadership of M5 East Operations and Maintenance Manager Nadir Hashmi all helped ensure the project progressed smoothly. 

Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance noted that transport infrastructure projects will be key in rebuilding the State's economy after the pandemic.

"The NSW Government is pushing ahead with delivering $57.5 billion worth of transport infrastructure across the next four years, so it's essential to keep moving during a time like this," Mr Constance said.

The M5 East Motorway was completely closed to fast track resurfacing work in the usually busy tunnels. This was a great result for drivers as the work usually would have been carried out across a number of weeks at night.

Read more about our legacy M5 East contract and VBA and the Stewardship Maintenance Contract