Queensland's Airport Link tunnel opens

25 July 2012

Airportlink M7, Australia’s longest road tunnel, was officially opened to traffic last night following an extension of time. The 15km tunnel is part of of a AUD 4.8bn (USD 4.9bn) investment in new transport infrastructure in Brisbane, Queensland.

Leighton Group's Thiess John Holland joint venture project team designed and constructed the project, which took four years to complete. The tunnel was scheduled to open on 30 June 2012; the delay in opening the Airport Link tunnel cost its builder AUD 22.4M (USD 23M) in fines. In May 2012, the company pushed back the tunnel completion date and named August 20 as the likely opening date, which was missed by a few days.

"The project team managed to deliver one of Australia's largest infrastructure projects within a few days of its contractual completion date - despite the significantly increased quantities, weather interruptions and a number of other challenges," said Hamish Tyrwhitt, CEO of Leighton Holdings. "Our people have demonstrated that, despite these challenges, the Leighton Group's can-do attitude ensures that our projects get delivered. It is truly a great example of how we deliver excellence in creating solutions for our clients."

Tyrwhitt added: "AirportlinkM7 will be transformational for Brisbane. It will substantially improve the road network to make it more reliable and safe for motorists; enhance the liveability of the northern suburbs by freeing up suburban roads; provide improved public transport, better pedestrian and cycling links; reduce road pollution; and overall creating a more green and sustainable environment for the community at large to enjoy."