The West Gate Tunnel Project is a city-shaping project that will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, provide quicker and safer journeys, and remove thousands of trucks off residential streets.
The West Gate Freeway will be widened and include express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge, reducing weaving and merging that leads to traffic congestion.
Twin tunnels connecting the West Gate Freeway to the Port of Melbourne and CityLink will take trucks off residential streets, providing a more efficient freight route.
A bridge over the Maribyrnong River, linking to an elevated road along Footscray Road, will get people to where they need to go in the CBD north.
State-of-the-art smart technology will be installed across the length of the project linking it to other freeway management systems across the city.
It will also add 14km of walking and cycling paths for a continuous journey from Werribee to the city.
Major construction started in 2018.
Find out more about how living and travelling in the west will be transformed on our Explore the project webpage.
The project will build twin tunnels under Yarraville between the West Gate Freeway and the Maribyrnong River. The southern portal, which is where citybound cars and trucks will enter the tunnel is just west of Williamstown Road. The southern portal where cars and trucks will exit the tunnel heading west, is near Millers Road. The 2 northern portals where vehicles will enter and exit are just south of Footscray Road on the west side of the Maribyrnong River.
The tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will start their journey at the northern portals and move south-west towards the southern portals in the West Gate Freeway. Work will start on the 4km outbound tunnel first, closely followed by the 2.8km inbound tunnel. The longer tunnel will take around 18 months to bore.
While the TBMs bore through the earth, a mobile factory behind them install a concrete lining – forming the walls, roof and base of the tunnels. Behind the TBMs, crews of up to 20 people work to build the road surface and install electrics, ventilation and safety systems.
The project is supporting Australian businesses, investing in local and regional employment and creating 6000 jobs across 6 sites in Victoria over 5 years.
There will be:
- over 500 jobs for apprentices, trainees and graduates
- 400 jobs dedicated to residents of Melbourne’s west
- 150 jobs for people affected by closures in the manufacturing industry
- 93% of goods and services and 92% of steel milled in Australia and New Zealand
- training and practical experience for workers and students to boost skills and workforce capability.
Find out more about jobs on the West Gate Tunnel Project.
Construction began in early 2018. See what’s happening at the 3 construction precincts:
Building the massive West Gate Tunnel Project will cause some unavoidable transport disruption for several years. View upcoming travel disruptions and plan ahead.
Work is progressing on widening the West Gate Freeway and building the city connections. Find out more about what we are building on our Construction webpage.
Work has started on a purpose-built facility at Hi-Quality Group’s Sunbury Eco-Hub that will manage and dispose of soil excavated by the tunnel boring machines on the West Gate Tunnel Project.
Read more about how we’re planning for the safe management of tunnel soil.