1 July 2022

The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide direct access to the port, an alternative to the West Gate Bridge and reduce the need for trucks to travel on congested residential streets in the inner west.

The freight industry needs a more direct and efficient route from the west to the port and the rest of Melbourne. Without this essential connection, truck drivers will continue to have 2 options: a longer and less efficient journey via the West Gate Bridge and Bolte Bridge, or an increasingly slow and more congested trip along inner-west arterial roads with traffic lights, difficult turns, a mixture of local traffic, cyclists and pedestrians sharing the road and abutting residential areas.

Major trip benefits

The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide:

  • a vital second river crossing
  • direct freeway connections to the port at MacKenzie Road and Appleton Dock Road, bypassing up to 17 sets of traffic lights
  • a non-residential route to the port for over-height and placarded loads
  • toll discounts and caps
  • up to 13 minutes of travel time savings on trips between the west and the port
  • 50% more capacity on the West Gate Freeway from the M80 interchange
  • express lanes from the M80 interchange to the West Gate Bridge for quicker, safer trips
  • roads, ramps and interchanges purpose-built for trucks.

Ensuring the freeway network provides for the growing freight task and for efficient and cost effective freight movements.

West Gate Freeway upgrade

  • Widened from 8 lanes to 12 through lanes from M80 to Williamstown Road.
  • Physically separating traffic that is travelling to and from different locations, will allow the 3 inside lanes to run express from the M80 all the way to the West Gate Bridge.
  • The outside lanes in each direction will provide access to and from Grieve Parade, Millers Road and Williamstown Road interchanges.

Supporting the growing freight task

  • The total volume of freight in Victoria is forecast to increase from 15 billion tonne kilometres in 2012 to 33 billion tonne kilometres in 2046.
  • The project will increase opportunities to use HPFVs for greater productivity and efficiencies.
  • By 2041, truck movements to and from the port are forecast to nearly triple, which equates to 23,000 more truck movements per day.

Designed for trucks


  • 5.9m clearance along over-height route.
  • 4.9m clearance in tunnel.
  • 5.4m bridges that are standard VicRoads clearance

Mass limits

  • Overall strengthening of the bridges along the West Gate Freeway to provide for High Productivity Freight Vehicles to 75% SM1600 and full SM1600 in the tunnel, Footscray Road viaduct and Wurundjeri Way extension.

Tunnel gradients

  • Maximum gradient going up is 4% and maximum gradient going down is 6%.

Ramp gradients

  • Maximum between 3.0% and 5.0%.

Direct port connections for freight

  • Bypass up to 17 sets of traffic lights.
  • Direct connections to the port at MacKenzie Road and Appleton Dock Road will improve freight access to Australia’s busiest container port.

Hyde Street access

  • Direct access for local industry that avoids residential areas.
  • Alternative route to and from the west for placarded loads and over-height vehicles which are prohibited from entering the tunnels.
  • A toll waiver on the Bolte Bridge for placarded loads originating at local industry and heading east.

What do these mean?

  • HPFV: The term for High Productivity Freight Vehicles that have specific length and weight limits within metropolitan Melbourne and must comply with certain regulations.
  • SM1600: Refers to the current design load for bridges in Australia. Vehicles covered by SM1600 can carry up to 160 tonnes in weight.
  • HCV: Refers to Heavy Commercial Vehicles, such as rigid and articulated trucks and buses.

Freeway Management System

We are installing a new Freeway Management System on the West Gate Freeway and new motorway. The system is a mix of:

  • lane use management signs.
  • stop/go lights on freeway entry ramps.
  • CCTV cameras.
  • travel time information signs.
  • electronic variable message signs.
  • automatic incident detection systems.

Making merging easier

Ramp signals regulate the flow of traffic needing to merge onto the freeway. This makes merging easier and helps reduce congestion.

Electronic message signs let you know when the signals are operating. Generally, this is only when the traffic is heavy or there is congestion ahead.

Extended incident response

Transurban is running 24/7 incident response on the West Gate Freeway while construction is underway, from around the M80 interchange to the CityLink tunnels.

On CityLink, crews respond to almost 200 incidents every week, resolving them as quickly as possible to keep traffic moving and avoid delays.

High Productivity Freight Vehicle Road access in Victoria

The West Gate Tunnel Project will unlock road freight productivity by increasing opportunities to use HPFVs, particularly for trips to and from the port. This will allow greater volumes of freight to be moved with fewer trips, improving productivity and providing operational efficiencies.

All new structures constructed for the project will be built to SM1600 (160 tonne) and all existing bridges along the West Gate Freeway between the M80 interchange and Williamstown Road strengthened to 75% of SM1600, which will accommodate up to 110 tonne loads.

The ability to use HPFVs will be increasingly important as port capacity expands through growing trade and greater use of Webb Dock, as well as the trend for greater freight travel distances as industrial land relocates further from the port.

Toll prices

The West Gate Tunnel Project will be tolled to balance traffic across the freeway network and to help fund its construction and ongoing operation. Discounts and toll caps will make the upgraded freeway and new tunnels a cost-effective and efficient route for trucks. Transburban will operate the road once open. For toll prices go to Transburban's Tolls and the West Gate Tunnel webpage.

1 toll point for trucks

Heavy vehicles will pay a single toll on the West Gate Freeway between Millers Road and Williamstown Road for access to the upgraded freeway, new tunnels and connections. Trucks travelling at night (between 8pm and 6am) receive a 33% discount.

West Gate Freeway multi-trip discount

Trucks travelling back and forth all day will have discounted tolls after the fourth trip and no charge after the eighth trip.

  • First 4 trips:  trucks pay full toll
  • Trips 5-8:  trucks pay 50% of toll
  • Trips 9+:  no further charges

Multi-road toll cap

Trucks travelling on CityLink and the West Gate Tunnel Project will have tolls for a single trip capped at:

Keeping you moving during construction

We will maintain access to the port and keep freeways and major roads running as smoothly as possible while we build the new freeway by:

  • keeping the same number of lanes open at peak times on the West Gate Freeway and Footscray Road where possible
  • only closing lanes when there is less traffic
  • maintaining 24/7 access to the port and Footscray Road businesses
  • providing clear and timely information for drivers
  • working with VicRoads, councils, industry, transport operators and emergency services to plan traffic changes
  • avoiding closures when major events are on in Melbourne.

There are extensive requirements in place to ensure road works and detours are well-planned and executed.

For more information

We have a team that is dedicated to working with the community. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions or concerns. Call us on 1800 105 105.