Spanish systems integration and technology company SICE (Sociedad Ibérica de Construcciones Eléctricas) has revealed its work on the new tunnel on Sydney’s M4 motorway, which is part of the WestConnex plan; Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project.
Opened to traffic last month, the new tunnel links the suburbs of Homebush and Haberfield, and consists of twin bores with three lanes in each direction and a total length of 4 miles (6.5km). The tunnel is an extension of the M4 motorway between Parramatta and Homebush, and will help to decongest traffic in Sydney and reduce surface truck traffic. As part of the ambitious project, SICE has implemented its widely used SIDERA Operations & Management Software (OMCS) platform, which has seen excellent results in the management of more than 1,554 miles (2,500km) of roads and more than 186 miles (300km) of tunnels around the world.
One of the unique features of the project is the implementation of a communications protocol that will be used in all WestConnex branches to control each section from a single control center, known as the Integrated OMCS (IOMCS). In 2020, the M5N section of WestConnex will also be inaugurated, which will connect St. Peters with Beverly Hills, and in 2023 a final section linking the M4 and M5. For the development of WestConnex, SICE has worked to integrate equipment previously installed in the M4 West section (which is not operated by SICE) into its SIDERA OMCS. The integration of this equipment in SIDERA will allow for a centralized management of all the sections of the route via the IOMCS.
In addition to the development of the control software, SICE’s team has worked to implement the rest of the tunnel’s control systems in its scope, including: the communications network, PLCs, vehicle detection systems, signaling, emergency telephones, and CCTV video surveillance, plus other subsystems. After the opening of the tunnel, SICE will continue to fine-tune the system, adjust it as required, and perform maintenance until 2026. Since the first project began in February 2016, SICE’s team has grown exponentially to meet the installation and commissioning requirements of the project, as well as creating unique tools and solutions in response to the needs of the WestConnex program.