The West Gate Tunnel Project is an opportunity to enhance productivity for the freight industry, improving travel times and boosting safety and liveability for the community.
Without this essential west-to-port connection, truck drivers will continue to have two options: a longer and less efficient journey via the West Gate Bridge and Bolte Bridge, or an increasingly slow and more congested trip along inner-west arterial roads with traffic lights, difficult turns and a mixture of local traffic, cyclists and pedestrians sharing the road and abutting residential areas.
Major trip benefits
The project will provide:
- a vital second river crossing
- direct freeway connections to the port saving trucks up to 50% travel time
- 40% additional river crossing capacity
- 50% more capacity to the West Gate Freeway from M80/M1 interchange
- a full freeway management system, offering improved travel time reliability and safety
- a strengthened West Gate Freeway to 75% SM1600 and full SM1600 for the Western Distributor, providing a heavy vehicle route for HPFVs from Webb Dock and Swanson Dock all the way to the M80 via the Western Distributor
- express lanes to the West Gate Bridge for vehicles heading to south of the city and the south eastern suburbs
- direct connections primarily servicing the freight industry at Mackenzie Road, Appleton Dock Road and Hyde Street
- upgrades to interchanges to better accommodate freight vehicles.
High Productivity Freight Vehicle road access in Victoria
VicRoads has assessed all critical road infrastructure and bridges, and where there are restrictions, these are documented on the HPFV Mass Access Map released in early 2016.
As part of the development of the West Gate Tunnel Project, all new structures constructed for the project will be built to SM1600 (160 tonne) and all existing bridges along the West Gate Freeway between the M80 interchange and Williamstown Road will be strengthened to 75 per cent of SM1600, which will accommodate up to 110 tonne loads depending on vehicle configurations.
The West Gate Tunnel Project increases the opportunity to use HPFVs and as a direct result improves the productivity of the freight network by allowing the movement of greater volumes of freight with fewer movements. This will prove increasingly important as
the port capacity expands through growing trade and the expansion of the Webb Dock, as well as the trend for greater freight travel distances as industrial land relocates further from the port.
Now that industry is aware of the capability and constraints of the network, further discussions can progress to build on the capacity that the Western Distributor will introduce to unlock road freight productivity, particularly to and from the port.
For more information and to view the map visit the VicRoads website.
How pricing might work
Trucks will be tolled to use the West Gate Tunnel and upgraded West Gate Freeway east of Grieve Parade. Tolls will be comparable to CityLink and other major toll roads with targeted tolling solutions like trip caps and new innovative products that respond to shuttle journeys, to help to attract high-use industry such as trucks.
This toll includes travel to the port, CityLink and Hyde Street or continuing on the M1 to the south east of the city via express lanes. Exact tolls and toll points are still being developed.
- A truck only toll on the substantially improved West Gate Freeway
- Toll prices similar to those on CityLink based on distance travelled
- Trip caps for journeys that use both West Gate Tunnel and CityLink
- Looking at new innovative tolling solutions for shuttle trips to and from the port, including multi-trip discount incentives
- Night time discounts
Freeway Management System
We are installing a new Freeway Management System on the West Gate Freeway and new motorway. The system is a mix of:
- lane use management signs
- stop/go lights on freeway entry ramps
- CCTV cameras
- travel time information signs
- electronic variable message signs
- automatic incident detection systems.
Making merging easier
Ramp signals regulate the flow of traffic needing to merge onto the freeway. This
makes merging easier and helps reduce congestion. Electronic message signs let you know when the signals are operating. Generally, this is only when the traffic is heavy or there is congestion ahead.
New and improved ramp meters:
- City access
- Dynon Road, Footscray Road and Wurundjeri Way to Western Distributor
- West Gate Tunnel to CityLink
- MacKenzie Road westbound
- Williamstown Road westbound
- Millers Road eastbound (dedicated truck lane)
- Grieve Parade eastbound (dedicated truck lane)
- M80 and Geelong Road to Princes Freeway
- Princes Freeway and M80 to West Gate Tunnel
For more information download the Freight fact sheet (PDF 1.6mb)