State approves West Gate Tunnel design
The State Government has approved a design for a new West Gate Tunnel and second river crossing promising G21 motorists quicker and easier access to Melbourne.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the project, expected to create 6000 jobs, would bring people from western suburbs the first-class freeway they deserve, providing a long overdue alternative to West Gate Bridge.
“Drivers will now have a choice, the tunnel or the bridge, slashing congestion from Geelong to Pakenham,” Mr Andrews said.
Key features of the design include Victoria’s longest road tunnel, four kilometres long and leading to a Maribyrnong River crossing, a new freeway above Footscray Road, 14 kilometres of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths, upgraded noise buffer walls and creation of nine hectares of open space and wetlands.
The government forecasts up to 150 former automotive industry workers and 500 apprentices will be employed during construction.
Mr Andrews said a consortium headlined by John Holland and CPB Contractors had been selected for the project, following a competitive evaluation process with the world’s most experienced construction companies.
G21-Geelong Region Alliance has called for urgent upgrading of the Geelong-Melbourne road corridor to ease serious traffic congestion on the Princes Highway and surrounding West Gate Bridge.
The road connection to Melbourne not only supports Victoria’s largest regional city, Geelong, but also three of the state’s fastest growing municipalities in Wyndham, Surf Coast and Golden Plains. View G21’s transport links to Melbourne statement here.
The State Government says following building of the West Gate Tunnel trucks will be banned from Francis, Buckley and Moore streets and Somerville Road in Melbourne’s west.
“By giving trucks an alternative route through the West Gate Tunnel we can introduce long-awaited 24/7 truck bans on streets in the inner west, while slashing congestion on the West Gate and local roads,” Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said.
The West Gate Tunnel project will be assessed through an environmental effects statement, to be made public mid-year, before finalising of contracts at the end of the year and start of construction early in 2018.
Source: Victorian Government media release, G21 website.