West Gate Tunnel plans open for comment

Transport Pillar

G21 region residents are able to evaluate potential impacts of Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel project from today, following release of an Environmental Effects Statement.

The comprehensive document is open for public examination and comment until July 10 and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan says the environmental evaluation process will be one of the most exhaustive in Victoria’s history.

The project, including addition of four lanes to the West Gate Freeway, and a 4 kilometre tunnel leading to a river crossing alternative to West Gate Bridge, is forecast to cut travel times between Geelong and Melbourne by 20 minutes and take more than 9000 trucks a day off suburban residential streets.

G21-Geelong Region Alliance welcomes advancing of the project, after having called for urgent upgrading of the Geelong-Melbourne road corridor top ease serious traffic congestion on the Princes Highway and West Gate Bridge approaches. View the background here.

People can read the tunnel project’s full Environmental Effects Statement here.

Hard copies are available for inspection at the City of Greater Geelong offices between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, until 5pm on July 10.

G21 region residents will also be able to attend an information session in the supper room at Geelong West Town Hall, 153 Pakington St, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm on June 27.

“We’re building the longest road tunnel Victoria has ever seen, connecting the west to the CBD and the port, and we’ll do it without closing lanes during peak periods,” Mr Donnellan said.

“We’re going through one of the most comprehensive investigations in Victoria’s history to make sure that the West Gate Tunnel is built to the highest environmental standards.”

The project is forecast to create 6000 new jobs, with completion scheduled for the end of 2022.

Two custom-made boring machines will shift more than 1.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil building the tunnel. Innovative construction methods will minimise disruptions on West Gate Freeway and Footscray Road, with both remaining open during construction.

Source: State Government media release.