Just like that, two weeks have passed and our crews working at the NorthConnex tunnel have completed their first maintenance shutdown.

Over the course of ten nights, more than 700 crew members conducted routine maintenance checks in Sydney’s newest tunnel.

The motorway was shut off to motorists from 10 pm to 5 am the next morning. During the dead of night specialist engineers and technicians carried out their work, testing everything within the tunnel to ensure everything 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 7:00 pm and work up until 4:30 am 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 shut down 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.”

This year, Downer’s safety focus theme is the Choices We Make. It 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 on board 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 go into the tunnel.”

After ten long nights the first shutdown is now complete, and Wahid couldn’t be happier with how it went.

“I’d like to thank our entire crew at DM Roads, our supply chain partners and our client, as well as our asset owners. You are only as good as people you have supporting you,” Wahid said.

“Our team worked extremely well, we rose to the challenge and I’m pretty proud of that.”