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.
Twin tunnels connecting the West Gate Freeway to the Port of Melbourne and CityLink will take trucks 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.
Major construction started in 2018.
For more information, view the West Gate Tunnel Project page.
The project will build twin tunnels under Yarraville between the West Gate Freeway and the Maribyrnong River. The southern portal, which is where citybound cars and trucks will enter the tunnel is just west of Williamstown Road. The southern portal where cars and trucks will exit the tunnel heading west, is near Millers Road. The two northern portals where vehicles will enter and exit are just south of Footscray Road on the west side of the Maribyrnong River.
The tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will start their journey at the northern portals and move south-west towards the southern portals in the West Gate Freeway. Work will start on the 4 kilometre outbound tunnel first, closely followed by the 2.8 kilometre inbound tunnel. The longer tunnel will take around 18 months to bore.
While the TBMs bore through the earth, a mobile factory behind them install a concrete lining – forming the walls, roof and base of the tunnels. Behind the TBMs, crews of up to 20 people work to build the road surface and install electrics, ventilation and safety systems.
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 closures 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.
Construction began in early 2018.
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.
Work is progressing on widening the West Gate Freeway and building the city connections. See more about what we are building here: https://westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au/construction
Project parties are working on a solution for tunnel soil disposal ahead of tunnelling commencing. Transurban is expecting to complete the project in 2023.
We’re working hard to get the work done safely and as quickly as possible to bring benefits to Victorians, and we’ll keep you informed as works continue.
Find out more about how we’re planning for the safe management of tunnel soil.
Throughout the project’s two-year development period, we consulted community members, councils and industry and listened to different views, concerns and ideas. Community members and stakeholders made 504 submissions on the Environment Effects Statement. Submissions were considered by the Inquiry and Advisory Committee, who listened and reported on many different views. This 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.
Community consultation is ongoing during as we build the West Gate Tunnel Project. In addition to Community Liaison Groups and a 24-hour phone line on 1800 105 105, the project has an Information Centre in Yarraville that is open to all visitors.
You can find out more and stay up to date in many different ways:
- Sign up to email updates (see form at the bottom of this page) or contact us
- Visit our Information Centre at the corner of Whitehall Street and Somerville Road, Yarraville
- Follow us on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube
- Speak with your local Community Liaison Group member
- Look out for updates from the team via newsletters, email, and at local events and pop ups
The Victorian Government is partnering with Transurban to build the West Gate Tunnel Project.
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 does 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.
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, 465 KB).
If your property is above the tunnel alignment, you can find out more in the tunnel strata acquisition and compensation factsheet (PDF, 587 KB).
Finding contaminated soil is part and parcel of construction in industrial areas and we have strict safety measures in place to deal with it. To ensure any contaminated soil is managed safely for workers and the community, Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria and WorkSafe Victoria requirements will be met at every step of the way.
Project parties are working on a solution for tunnel soil disposal ahead of tunnelling commencing.
Learn more about soil management.
With a new alternative for trucks, the Victorian Government will introduce 24 hour truck bans when the project opens to ensure that trucks use the freeway and to prevent rat runs through local streets.
Road and ramp closures, as well as traffic switches and pedestrian impacts, will occur throughout the duration of the Project.
To keep up to date on all current disruptions, visit our disruptions page.
You can also follow us on Twitter for daily updates on current travel disruptions and our Facebook page.