With contracts today signed by the Victorian Government, the multi-billion dollar West Gate Tunnel – an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge – is set to begin major construction works in early 2018.
“In providing an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge and direct access to the port, the project will significantly decrease traffic congestion, improve productivity, remove numerous trucks from local roads and reduce travel times for motorists,” John Holland Chief Executive Officer Joe Barr said.
Earlier in 2017, the joint venture (JV) between CPB Contractors and John Holland was appointed by Transurban to design and build the vital road that will slash travel times in Melbourne’s western suburbs. The JV has commenced mobilisation into a construction compound in Footscray where works will begin on the northern tunnel portal in January 2018.
This project is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs during construction. Information sessions were launched in November of this year for businesses – big and small – who want to get involved in the delivery of the West Gate Tunnel.
"With many decades of roads and tunnelling experience in Australia, our capabilities will ensure minimal disruption, a safe and effective works program, and certainty of delivery for our client," CPB Contractors Managing Director Juan Santamaria said.
"We are focused on ensuring opportunities for local workers, and providing a value for money procurement program that includes Indigenous business and social enterprises to achieve broader community benefits," Mr Santamaria added.
By late November 2017, Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne signed off on the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) for the project – which is the final step before construction can begin.
This project will also put a halt on rat-runs in the inner west for good, with 24/7 truck bans “enshrined in law.”
After five design updates, major improvements have been made to the scope of the project. The final design for the construction of the West Gate Tunnel is currently expected to cost $6.7 billion, with tunnels now double the length of the original business case – which improves traffic flow and protect homes. The new cost estimate will also cover better city connections, additional noise walls, construction of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths as well as extending the air quality monitoring for a decade.
Early works will commence in January 2018 and the first of two massive Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) will be ordered in the next few weeks. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
“The time for talking is over – this project will deliver a long-overdue alternative to the West Gate Bridge, create thousands of jobs and construction starts next month,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
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