3 March 2021
The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, quicker and safer journeys, and remove over 9000 trucks a day from residential streets in the inner west.
The project is a partnership between the Victorian Government and Transurban and will be built by a joint venture between CPB Contractors and John Holland.
The West Gate Tunnel Project, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority is managing the project on behalf of the Victorian Government. There are 3 construction precincts for the project: West Gate Freeway, Tunnels, and Port to City.
In the Port to City precinct we are building:
- a bridge over the Maribyrnong River to connect the tunnels with an elevated road above Footscray Road
- ramps to the port at MacKenzie Road and Appleton Dock Road for direct freeway access
- elevated roadway connecting to CityLink, Dynon Road and Footscray Road, running above Footscray Road
- walking and cycling paths for quicker and safer cycling to the city with a new veloway and bridges over Footscray Road and Moonee Ponds Creek
- Wurundjeri Way extension and widening – an extra lane in each direction and extending Wurundjeri Way north to Dynon Road to create a city bypass
- Freeway Management System to improve traffic flow and safety
- new open spaces and planting thousands of trees and other plants in the freeway area.
Key works in the city to port precinct
Building the elevated road
The West Gate Tunnel Project includes an elevated roadway running above the centre of Footscray Road, connecting the new tunnels with CityLink, the port and the city.
The road structure will be made up of individual concrete segments which are made off-site and transported to site by train and truck.
A gantry crane, which will sit on top of support piers around 30m above the road, will lift the concrete segments into place. The crane will start at the city end of Footscray Road and work its way west down the outbound carriageway before being turned around to build the inbound carriageway.
Our gantry crane will place almost 1600 segments into place over a two-year period.
Maribyrnong River Bridges
Innovative bridge construction methods are being used to build the Maribyrnong River bridges to ensure that we:
- keep the river open to boats wherever possible
- keep MacKenzie Road open for truck access to the port
- meet all environmental requirements to protect the health of the river.
Temporary jetties on the riverbanks or river barges will provide space for workers to build bridge supports and lift beams into place with minimal impact on the river.
The main construction compound in this precinct is located at the former Melbourne Market site on Footscray Road.
It is supported by smaller compounds in the surrounding areas, including in E-Gate and near the Maribyrnong River. Construction compounds provide a base for workers, equipment, and machinery.
- install fencing and screening around compounds located near to private properties
- meet all requirements, including those for managing noise, dust, and traffic
- give our neighbours advance notice about what to expect during works
- reinstate or improve compound areas after construction
- encourage our workers to car-pool or use public transport where possible.
Major cycling upgrades
A 2.5km veloway – a cycling highway from Footscray to Docklands – will be built to make trips quicker and safer for cyclists.
New bridges over Moonee Ponds Creek Trail and Footscray Road will remove the dangerous Capital City Trail crossing of Footscray Road. Sections of existing path along Footscray Road and Dynon Road will be upgraded during construction.
- keep all paths open as much as possible
- provide safe and clearly signed detours while paths are being upgraded
- work with VicRoads and cycling groups to plan and communicate detours
- carry out improvements along the detours if needed to make them safe.
We will do as much work as possible during the day, but because the roads we are working on are so important for moving people and goods around Melbourne, some works can only be done at night.
We will do our best to plan works at times when they cause the least inconvenience for residents, while also avoiding peak period lane closures and disruptions on the freeway to keep Melbourne moving during construction.
Managing construction impacts
Traffic, access and detours
There are extensive requirements to ensure road works and detours are well planned and executed. We will maintain access to the port and keep Footscray Road open and running as smoothly as possible while we build the new freeway and veloway by:
- keeping the same number of lanes open at peak times where possible
- maintaining 24/7 access to the port and businesses
- providing clear and timely information for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
- working with the Department of Transport, councils, transport operators and emergency services to plan traffic changes
- avoiding closures when major events are on in Melbourne.
Strict controls are in place to make sure construction noise is well managed and complies with EPA Victoria guidelines.
- plan noisy works at times when they will cause the least inconvenience where possible
- monitor noise levels and take action to reduce noise
- adopt best practice site management to reduce noise from work areas
- provide advance notice of noisy works.
There are specific requirements to protect residents from excessive noise at night. If noise exceeds set levels we will reassess the situation and take action to manage any impacts. This could mean changing the time of work, providing respite periods, using noise barriers or changing construction methods to reduce noise.
We try to avoid creating dust, but if it can’t be avoided we will take action to reduce dust and stop it blowing around.
- cover dirt and rock when it is being moved
- spray water on open stockpiles and roads to keep dust down
- monitor dust levels at key locations and take action to suppress dust if it’s too windy
- landscape areas as soon as possible so dirt isn’t left exposed.
We want to see as many mature trees retained as possible and will only remove plants when it is necessary to build the project.
- conduct detailed tree studies to confirm important trees and habitats
- set out no-go zones and fence areas to be protected
- plant more than 17,000 trees and thousands of native and indigenous shrubs and grasses.
Keeping you informed
We will keep people informed and work together to make things easier during construction.
You can expect to see regular information from us about construction activities happening in your area, including:
- newsletters to keep you up to date
- works notifications in your letterbox
- door knocks or street meetings before major works
- information on the website
- news and updates on social media.
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.