The West Gate Tunnel Project will be built over five years, opening in 2022 to provide a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, quicker and safer journeys and remove over 9,000 trucks from residential streets in the inner west.
In the West Gate Freeway precinct we are building:
- Extra lanes on the freeway between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road
- Entry and exit portals where the tunnels connect with the West Gate Freeway
- Ventilation structure at the tunnel exit to remove air from inside the outbound tunnel
- Interchange upgrades at the M80 Ring Road, Millers Road, Grieve Parade and Williamstown Road
- Ramps to Hyde Street to connect trucks directly with local industry
- Noise walls to reduce traffic noise for residents and open spaces
- Walking and cycling paths to complete missing links in the Federation and Kororoit Creek trails and better connect communities
- Pedestrian bridges replacing the existing overpasses
- Freeway Management System to support good traffic flow and safety
- New open spaces and planting thousands of trees and other plants in the freeway area.
Widening the freeway
We are widening the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes. The West Gate Freeway is a critical link in Melbourne’s transport network, carrying 200,000 vehicles each day. We will keep it moving by:
- Keeping the same number of lanes open at peak times
- Only closing lanes when there is less traffic
- Keeping the speed limit at 80km/h at peak times whenever possible
- Providing clear and timely information for drivers
- Working with VicRoads, councils, transport operators and emergency services to plan traffic changes
- Avoiding closures when major events are on in Melbourne.
Setting up construction compounds
Timing: Set up 2018-2019 and operating until 2022
Construction compounds provide a base for workers, equipment and machinery. The main bases for construction in the West Gate Freeway area are:
- Off the West Gate Freeway / New Street – for freeway widening and tunnel works
- Off Geelong Road – for works around the M80 Ring Road interchange.
We will use best practice techniques at our construction compounds and will:
- Meet all requirements for managing noise, dust and traffic
- Install fencing and screening when compounds are located near to private property
- Give our neighbours advanced notice about what to expect during works
- Reinstate or improve compound areas after construction
- Provide parking for workers to avoid taking up space on local streets.
Changes to high-voltage power lines
Some electricity towers along the freeway will be moved or replaced with slimmer poles and some power lines moved underground to make space for the widened freeway.
Upgrading the Federation Trail
Federation Trail is being upgraded and extended to Hyde Street. A section of the trail between Millers Road and the Newport Freight rail line will need to be closed for around 10 months to complete the upgrade. We will:
- Provide a safe and clearly signed detour
- Work with VicRoads, councils and cycling groups to plan and communicate the detour
- Carry out improvements along the detour if needed to make it safe.
Building new noise walls
The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver more than nine kilometres of new and improved noise walls for quieter homes, backyards and parks along the West Gate Freeway. We will:
- Prioritise noise wall construction so residents get the benefit as early as possible
- Leave existing noise walls in place where practical or provide temporary noise walls until new ones are built
- Use high quality materials with acrylic at the top to let light in.
Building the Hyde Street ramps
Work areas will be located alongside the freeway where they are least likely to cause disruption and will be fenced and screened from view. Innovative construction methods will help reduce disruption, including using cranes to lift beams down from the freeway to reduce disruption at Donald McLean Reserve.
Keeping Melbourne moving while we work
People often ask how the project can be built without closing the freeway or affecting neighbouring homes. Here’s how we typically do it:
The freeway has four lanes in each direction. These lanes will be narrowed and emergency lanes removed during construction.
Traffic lanes are shifted to the sides or centre of the road, allowing works to take place on different parts of the road.
When complete, there will be six lanes in each direction.
Most of the work will be done during the day however some works will be done at night to minimise travel disruption on our busy roads.
We will do our best to plan works at times when they cause the least inconvenience for residents, while also avoiding peak period lane closures and disruption on the freeway to keep Melbourne moving during construction.
In early 2018, work will begin to prepare for construction including moving some power lines and gas and sewer pipes, setting up construction compounds and clearing some vegetation.
Regular updates will be posted on this page. We will also keep people informed of activities taking place in their local area by:
- Dropping newsletters and works notifications in your letterbox
- Door knocks or street meetings before major works
- News and updates on social media
For more information, contact us on 1300 280 939
We have a team that is dedicated to working with the community. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any questions or concerns.
Download the factsheet Construction overview – West Gate Freeway [PDF, 1.4mb]