Things you need to know about the West Gate Tunnel Project

The West Gate Tunnel Project is going to completely change the way Australians move around Melbourne as well as how trucks get to the port. The project involves the expansion of the West Gate Freeway in Melbourne, including the construction of twin tunnels under Yarraville as well as a bridge over the Maribyrnong River.

Currently the West Gate Bridge is being used by over 200,000 vehicles per day, which is expected to increase further in the future. This project is going to provide a substitute connection to the West Gate Bridge as well as direct access to the port. It is expected to minimize traffic congestion on local streets as well as total travelling time for motorists.

This $5.5bn project is being executed by Transurban & the Victorian government. Construction is going to start in 2018 & is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

The tunnel project will be generating more than 6,000 jobs in the region.

West Gate Tunnel project details

The project will involve the widening of the M80 Ring Road to Williamstown road section of the West Gate Freeway from eight to 12 lanes in order to make travel smoother as well as safer. Also, it involves construction of a 2.8km-long tunnel in the east as well as a 4km-long tunnel under Yarraville in the west.

This tunnel project is also going to provide a direct link to Hyde Street for heightened vehicles or trucks travelling with hazardous goods. Also, it is going to provide access to Appleton, Swanson, Webb docks, CityLink & the inner northern suburbs, & an extended Wurundjeri Way to provide a city bypass.

A bridge over the Maribyrnong River, a new 2.5km elevated road from Footscray Road to the Port of Melbourne, as well as a new cycling & pedestrian paths will also be included.

Apart from these, high-quality noise walls will be developed for reducing noise as well as protecting residents.

Two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) of 15.6m diameter each will be used to build the 2 tunnels between the Freeway & the Maribyrnong River .

The TBMs will dig out over 1.5 million cubic metres of rock & soil, while a mobile factory would install the concrete tunnel lining. The machines will bore at a rate of 9m per day.

The ramps over the Maribyrnong River Bridge as well as MacKenzie Road will be constructed via Footscray Road & MacKenzie Road to provide access to the port. And there will be new routes for trucks in order to remove trucks from residential streets during the construction period.

Noise control measures would be adopted on the equipment & machinery at the construction sites for minimizing the noise levels. Existing noise walls will be retained for privacy as well as protection until the new ones are constructed.

New freeway management system on the tunnel project

The freeway as well as the new motorway would feature a new freeway management system. The system consists of CCTV cameras, lane-use management signs, stop/go lights on freeway entry ramps, electronic variable message signs as well as automatic incident detection systems.

Apart from these, smart technology is going to be installed across the length of the tunnel that will link it to the freeway management systems in the city.

An incident response service such as road surveillance & clearance is going to be used for reliable & safe operation of the freeway from the M80 interchange to Williamstown Road.

To know more about this project visit: westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au