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.
A tunnel from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River and the Port of Melbourne will take motorists and trucks underground and 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 14 kilometres of walking and cycling paths for a continuous journey from Werribee to the city.
Construction will start in 2018 and be completed in 2022.
For more information, view the West Gate Tunnel Project page.
Construction began in early 2018 and will be completed in 2022.
See what’s happening at the three construction precincts:
- West Gate Freeway: upgrading and widening the freeway from 8 to 12 lanes. New express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge will reduce weaving and merging that leads to traffic congestion.
- A new tunnel from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River, taking motorists and trucks underground and off residential streets.
- Port to City: a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River and an elevated road along Footscray Road will provide direct links to the Port of Melbourne, CityLink and an extended Wurundjeri Way.
Building the massive West Gate Tunnel Project will cause some unavoidable transport disruption for several years. Drivers are reminded to be alert and aware of changed traffic conditions. View upcoming travel disruptions and plan ahead.
Throughout the project’s two-year development period, we have consulted community members, councils and industry and listened to different views, concerns and ideas. The independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) has also considered 504 submissions and listened and reported on many different views. This has resulted in some real improvements to the design and specific environmental requirements.
To address public feedback, major changes to the project have included:
- Moving the westbound tunnel exit further away from houses
- Better protection of existing open space
- More noise walls along the West Gate Freeway
- 9 hectares of new public open space
- Over 14 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.
The contractors selected to build the West Gate Tunnel Project are a consortium headlined by CPB Contractors and John Holland.
CPB Contractors and John Holland are construction leaders with a strong track record delivering tunnels and transport infrastructure.
The project is supporting Australian businesses, investing in local and regional employment and creating 6000 jobs across six sites in Victoria over five 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 closuring 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.
You can find out more and stay up to date in many different ways:
The project will not require the compulsory acquisition of homes.
If the tunnels pass under property, the land underground will be acquired by the Victorian Government. This is called ‘strata acquisition’ and it does not affect your ownership of land at the surface.
There is a limited number of commercial and industrial property acquisition along the project alignment. We have been in contact with all potentially affected businesses and land owners to discuss the acquisition process, which can begin later this year following the EES planning approvals process.
All acquisition will be managed by the Victorian Government in accordance with the relevant legislation.
If you are a business and have been contacted about land acquisition, you can find out more in the land acquisition and compensation factsheet (PDF, 465kb).
If your property is above the tunnel alignment, you can find out more in the tunnel strata acquisition and compensation factsheet (PDF, 587kb).
Three interrelated projects provide a transport solution that will streamline traffic from Geelong to Pakenham: The West Gate Tunnel Project, Webb Dock Access Improvements and the Monash Freeway Upgrade.
The Monash Freeway Upgrade will add more than 30 kilometres of new freeway lanes to the Monash Freeway. This includes widening the road from four to five lanes between EastLink and the South Gippsland Freeway, and from two to three lanes between the South Gippsland Freeway and Clyde Road in Berwick.
Widening works will ease congestion and reduce travel times for Victorian drivers. Extra lanes and smart roadside technologies will mean safer, smoother journeys.
Other improvements include:
• Ramp signals added from Chadstone to Pakenham, to prevent stop-start driving conditions and dangerous sudden braking. Entry ramps will be widened to accommodate more vehicles
• Lane Use Management Signs (LUMS) installed along the corridor to improve traffic flow by providing drivers with information in the event of an incident
• Bridges and structures from EastLink to Clyde Road will be upgraded to be wider and to carry the additional lanes, providing long-term reliability for the freeway. Additionally, lighting at various interchanges will be improved.
The final cost is expected to be approximately $400 million.
The advice by road experts is that the combination of an extra lane and smart technology is the best way to manage growth and get the best value out of our existing freeways.
The Hallam Bypass section was always designed and planned to allow for a third lane when needed – and that’s what we are doing now.
A managed motorway controls the flow and entry of vehicles onto the freeway to keep traffic moving and minimise delays.
Ramp signals right along the Monash out to Pakenham will keep the freeway flowing smoothly by controlling traffic entering the freeway. This will prevent traffic ‘shockwaves’ up and down the M1 that make driving frustrating and dangerous.
This will be the longest stretch of managed roadway in Australia – and it means from Werribee to Pakenham traffic can be managed to keep the M1 flowing.
The widening will mainly occur in the existing centre median on both sides of the freeway.
The current number of lanes will be open during peak times and construction will be staged to avoid major disruption to motorists.
The addition of one lane to an existing major freeway is not expected to noticeably increase traffic noise, except for in one location at Heatherton Road. A noise assessment of the Monash improvements found the predicted change in noise levels would be negligible.
The noise assessment showed that one area of the freeway adjacent to the Heatherton Road outbound exit ramp will exceed the noise standard (of 68dB (A)) so a new section of noise wall will be built there as part of the Upgrade works.
More information on noise modelling and management for the Monash Freeway Upgrade here
The Upgrade is contained within the existing freeway reserve and a preliminary assessment found no significant habitat for any species of national or state conservation significance.
Strict environmental management measures will be in place to ensure that construction noise, dust, drainage and other community impacts are minimised as much as possible.
No. The upgraded section of the Monash Freeway will remain toll free.
There are a number of planned construction projects that the contractor will be taking into consideration when designing the Monash Freeway Upgrade program. These include some bridge strengthening works, VicRoads routine maintenance and level crossing removal works on the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines. In each instance, the contractor will work closely with stakeholders to determine the scope of any planned works, and what impacts, if any, they will have on drivers or the community. Advanced notice of any disruptions will be provided using the following channels:
- variable message signs on the freeway and local roads
- letters delivered to local residents
- advertisements in local newspapers and on radio
- information on websites including this site and VicRoads
- notices on social media including @WestGateTunnel and @VicTraffic Twitter accounts
- email notifications to stakeholders and road user groups.
Usage of the Monash Freeway follows different patterns all along its length. For example, in the past decade the number of cars using the Hallam Bypass has increased by 50 per cent. The freeway is busiest between the EastLink and the South Gippsland Freeway.
The MFU is accordingly focused on a 44 kilometre stretch between Chadstone and Pakenham, from Warrigal Road to Koo Wee Rup Road. The priority sections of the freeway, which are most in need of added capacity, are EastLink Interchange to South Gippsland Freeway, and South Gippsland Freeway to Clyde Road. They are being widened to meet current and projected demand.
Beyond the widening works, new and upgraded roadway technology will manage traffic flow to ensure more reliable conditions, especially at peak times.
In construction zones on the freeway, the speed limit will be dropped to 80km/h for the safety of drivers and workers. Construction zones will have a maximum distance of 7km. When travelling this distance at a speed of 80km/h compared to 100km/h, the difference in travel time is 63 seconds. We are grateful for this minute of your time to ensure a safer environment for our workers and your fellow drivers.
With any large road project, some delays are unavoidable. During the course of the Monash Freeway Upgrade, the current number of lanes will remain open during peak times and construction will be staged to avoid major disruption to road users.
Some additional lane, freeway or ramp closures will be required throughout the course of the project. The travelling public will be given advance notice of any major impacts.
The lanes will all be added within the existing reserve and the current centre median between the carriageways. This means that the freeway will not be widened any closer to residents or businesses along the corridor. In order to increase storage of ramps to accommodate more vehicles for the ramp signals, some ramps are to be widened.
The Monash Freeway Upgrade is expected to start later this year and be finished in 2018.
Initial works started in late 2015, and major construction ramped up in June 2016. The project is now complete and the new ramp open to traffic.
The Webb Dock access improvements were built to:
- provide a quicker and more efficient route for freight that is not affected by traffic conditions on the West Gate Freeway
- reduce weaving and merging on the West Gate Freeway which can contribute to traffic flow break down and create congestion
- improve safety on the Bolte Bridge entry ramp, reducing the risk of truck roll overs and associated costly traffic delays which are felt right across the freeway network
- improve access and safety between the West Gate Freeway and the Bolte Bridge.
Webb Dock Access improvements works included:
- an upgraded and signalisedCook St/Salmon St intersection
- a new ramp connecting the West Gate Freeway and Bolte Bridge with a gentler curve to reduce the risk of truck roll overs
- a new lane from Cook St to the Bolte Bridge ramp to provide direct access to freight heading north
- a longer and wider exit ramp providing more capacity to enable ramp metering