The West Gate Tunnel Project
The West Gate Tunnel project represents the single largest road project since the West Gate Bridge was opened back in the late 1970s and is an important part of the Andrews Government’s plans to give Melburnians more options and flexibility in how they move about our city.
Melbourne’s west is experiencing booming population growth. Population in the region now stands at approximately 830,000 people, up from 611,000 in 2006. Failure to invest in basic infrastructure such as road and rail to support this growth will have a significant and enduring negative impact on the liveability and economic opportunities for Melbourne’s west. In these circumstances, doing nothing is not an option.
The West Gate Tunnel project will provide a vital alternative to the Westgate Bridge, providing a direct link from the freeway to the Port of Melbourne via a tunnel under Yarraville. The project design encompasses the best quality noise walls in Victoria, the creation of 9 hectares of new open space and wetlands, and 14km of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths.
The West Gate Tunnel will also remove thousands of trucks off local roads. This delivers a massive win for communities in the inner west, with 24/7 truck bans along Francis Street and Somerville Road set to come into effect once the tunnel begins operation in 2022.
In response to concerns among local residents, the Andrews Government also announced additional truck bans along Hudsons Road between Booker Street and Melbourne Road, and along the full length of Blackshaws Road, from Melbourne Road to Grieve Parade.
The West Gate Tunnel Project has undergone an extensive and robust planning assessment process, including through an Environment Effects Statement (EES) which has now concluded. Public involvement in the project’s development and EES process has resulted in design improvements and more than 100 requirements being applied to make sure possible environmental effects are well managed.
As a result of the EES, a sixth air quality monitoring station will be positioned at Millers Road, in addition to the five air quality monitoring stations originally planned. Millers Road residents north of the West Gate Freeway will also be offered noise reduction options on their properties.
This year, Minister for Roads, the Hon. Luke Donnellan also announced a corridor study to be conducted on Millers and Williamstown Roads to determine how we move people and freight now and in the future. The Corridor Study Group will examine potential challenges brought about by the Westgate Tunnel and will do so ensuring community and business needs are both sufficiently met. To access the Terms of Reference for the study, visit this website.
The Andrews Government will continue to work constructively with individuals and organisations that raise concerns about the project and remains committed to working with the local community to avoid future adverse impacts.
The West Gate Tunnel Project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Melbourne’s west, and when completed will ensure the sustainability and liveability of the inner west.