Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne has signed off on the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for the $5.5 billion West Gate Tunnel (WGT) project which was the final step for the project to begin.
Construction for the West Gate Tunnel project is due to start in early 2018.
$1.4 billion has been allocated by the State Government to the project with Transurban being undertaken to provide the remainder in exchange of a 12-year extension to tolling on CityLink - estimated to be providing an extra $20 to $30 billion in toll revenue.
The aim of the project is to cut congestion and reduce travel times but has been criticised by Hobsons Bay and Melbourne Councils with opposition from residents living in Spotswood, South Kingsville, Altona North and Brooklyn, who will be affected the most due to the extra truck traffic.
The project expected to create 6,000 new jobs, including 500 apprentices, up to 150 jobs for former auto workers, and around 400 jobs in Melbourne’s west.
Under a 93 per cent local content and 92 per cent local steel arrangement, the project will include:
- Widening the West Gate Freeway from eight lanes to 12 between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road;
- Building a 2.8km eastbound tunnel and a 4km westbound tunnel under Yarraville;
- Constructing a bridge over the Maribyrnong River providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge;
- Constructing an elevated road along Footscray Road to the Port of Melbourne; and
- 14km of new cycling and pedestrian paths.
The project is set to enable the State Government to extend 24-hour truck bans in the inner west, removing up 9,300 trucks from residential streets.
The Minister’s assessment recommends Wurundjeri Way be lowered and V/Line stabling yards be relocated to maximise the potential of the future E-Gate urban renewal precinct, whilst improving cycling and pedestrian connections between Docklands and North Melbourne.
The EES can be found here.
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Source: Construction Advisor