NorthConnex shutdown success

The DM Roads crews working on the NorthConnex tunnel completed their first maintenance shutdown in Sydney’s newest tunnel during February.


Over the course of 10 nights, the motorway was shut off to motorists between 10pm-5am to allow more than 700 crew members to conduct routine maintenance checks. 

During the night, specialist engineers and technicians carried out their work, testing everything within the tunnel to ensure it was in working order.

DM Roads Contract Manager, Wahid Ezaty, explains that even before the tunnel shuts to the public, crew members have already began working.

“We start our work early. Our staff will typically start at 7:00pm and work up until 4:30am the next day before we hand the tunnel back over to the Operations team,” Wahid said.

Shutting down one of the deepest tunnels in Sydney is no small feat. Wahid notes that the maintenance shutdown requires early and careful planning.

“The planning occurs about a couple of months prior,” Wahid said.

“Soon after we finish reporting for one shutdown, you only have a week or two until you have to start planning for the next shutdown.”

Downer’s annual Our Safety Focus theme for 2021 is ‘Choices we Make’, which focuses on raising awareness to mitigate the risks associated with an employee’s role and responsibilities. Employees are encouraged to consider the impact their choices can have on the safety of themselves and their colleagues.

NorthConnex requires maintenance shutdowns every three months and with so many crew members onboard, Wahid has stressed the importance of ensuring the health and safety of everyone.

“In keeping aligned with the Choices we Make theme, we wanted to talk to people about healthy living, in particular, diet and exercise,” Wahid said.

“We wanted to mix it up a bit, so we organised a personal trainer to run some of our team through some warm-ups and stretches. This also helped with minimising the risk for injury, ensuring our crew members were warmed up before they went into the tunnel.”