A direct link to the port for trucks

Tunnelling is underway on the West Gate Tunnel that will ensure quicker and safer journeys and remove over 9000 trucks a day from streets in the inner west.

Twin tunnels will take traffic underground from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River and on to an elevated road about Footscray Road.

Cars and trucks will enter the citybound tunnel from the West Gate Freeway just west of Williamstown Road and exit near the Maribyrnong River in Footscray. To travel west, cars and trucks will enter the tunnel near the Maribyrnong River and exit at the West Gate Freeway just east of Millers Road.

The tunnels are being built using 2 tunnel boring machines (TBMs), with minimal impact to the community and businesses, while work happens below ground.

In February 2023, TBM Vida broke through in Yarraville, completing a 2.8km journey that started on the west side of the Maribyrnong River under Yarraville and finished at Williamstown Road near the West Gate Freeway.

Watch the moment when TBM Vida broke through the head wall. Follow the progress of TBM Bella as she continues boring the 4km outbound tunnel

The TBMs are being piloted by a highly trained specialist crew who will work around the clock while the tunnel is being built.

The project will deliver:

  • twin tunnels under Yarraville between the West Gate Freeway and the Maribyrnong River
  • a 4km-long outbound tunnel and 2.8km-long citybound tunnel
  • ventilation structures at each tunnel exit to remove air from inside the tunnels
  • Freeway Management System to support good traffic flow and safety.

Tunnel safety features will be an important feature for smooth operation of the tunnel, including automatic detection for over-height trucks, fire systems and emergency access and exits.

Building the tunnel entries

The start and end of each tunnel is being built using the ‘cut and cover’ method. This involves excavating a trench then covering it with a concrete deck to form a roof. This is where the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) start and end their journey.

The Aboriginal culture and heritage of Melbourne’s west is reflected in the design of the tunnel portals, which has been inspired by the form of traditional nets and traps used to catch eels.

Further information