The M5 East Freeway is almost 10 kilometres
in length and includes twin four kilometre
tunnels between Bexley Road, Earlwood
and Marsh Street, Arncliffe. A 550 metre
tunnel passes under the Cooks River.
Since opening, the M5 East tunnel has been
operating in accordance with the former
Planning Minister’s conditions of approval
for the project issued in December 1997.
How is air quality managed
in the M5 East Tunnel?
The tunnel has 132 jet fans and 18 axial
fans to assist the operation of the in-tunnel
ventilation system. Fresh air is brought into
the tunnel from the portals (entrance and
exits) and also from a separate fresh air
intake plant located at Duff Street, Arncliffe.
Air containing pollutants is drawn away
from the middle of the tunnel and expelled
through a ventilation building located in
Turella. The height of the outlet is 35 metres.
This ensures that pollutants from vehicle
emissions are well dispersed.
The M5 East Tunnel (westbound tube)
is also fitted with a smoky vehicle camera/
video system which detects vehicles that
emit smoke for approximately 10 seconds
or more. This deters drivers of smoky
trucks from using the tunnel and encourages
them to repair their trucks.
Air quality monitoring
Air quality in the tunnel is monitored 24
hours per day, 7 days per week. There are
five ambient (outside) air quality monitoring
stations located in the Wolli Creek area that
collect important meteorological information
and air quality data.
This information is available via an easy to
use, real-time, interactive map. To view daily
and historical air quality information, go to
the Roads and Maritime Services website at
The M5 East Tunnel
The M5 East tunnel forms a key section
of the M5 East Freeway and significantly
improves access between south western
Sydney, the city, Sydney Airport, Port Botany
and the major industrial and commercial land
uses surrounding the airport. The M5 East
connects to the M5 South West Motorway
at King Georges Road in Beverly Hills and
with General Holmes Drive and on to the
Inside the M5 East Tunnel