The Andrews Labor Government’s 2016/17 Victorian Budget is providing the full $1.46 billion funding for a second river crossing as part of the Western Distributor Project. The second river crossing will cut the travel time from Melbourne to Geelong by 20 minutes.
The Labor Government will continue its attempt to convince the Turnbull Government that the second river crossing warrants Commonwealth investment.
"We will build the long-overdue second river crossing, and cut travel time from Geelong by 20 minutes.
Although we will continue to advocate for the Turnbull Government to partner with us on this project, we simply cannot wait to get on with delivering it, and we're getting it done with or without their support." - Premier Daniel Andrews
An agreement was signed by the Government and Transurban for the tender, planning and engagement stages of the project. The establishment of the Western Distributor Authority to get this project done was also announced.
The first full designs for the project were released which included two options – either directly within the road reserve or via ramps to a portal in adjacent land – for connecting the West Gate Freeway to the Western Distributor Tunnel.
Since dangerous goods trucks can’t travel in a tunnel, the designs for the second river crossing include five ramp options that will connect the West gate Freeway directly to Hyde Street in order to get them out of residential streets.
"We're getting on with the Western Distributor to cut congestion, take thousands of trucks off local streets in the inner-West, and create 5,600 Victorian jobs." - Treasurer Tim Pallas
The Western Distributor Project also aims to link the city and the surrounding road network with connections to Dynon Road and CityLink, as well as an extended Wurundjeri Way.
The designs will continuously be refined as the planning for this project progresses. Residents will be allowed to give their opinions on the initial design through an extensive consultation process. Community information sessions will start tomorrow, 16th April, and online engagement (which began yesterday) at The Western Distributor Project website.
"We want to hear from residents, industry and local councils, to help understand what's important to them to get the design right." - Minister Luke Donnellan
Watch this space for more updates on this project. Subscribe to PlantMiner's industry blog today and stay up to date.
Author's note: Original article is from Premier of Victoria