The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, providing a much needed second river crossing, quicker and safer journeys, and remove thousands of trucks from residential streets.

  • The West Gate Freeway is being widened, and will 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 will take cars and trucks underground and off residential streets in the inner west, providing a more efficient freight route and new journey choices for motorists
  • A bridge over the Maribyrnong River, linking to an elevated road along Footscray Road, will get people where they need to go in the city’s north, and ramps will give trucks direct access to the port
  • State-of-the-art smart technology will be installed across the length of the project linking it to other freeway management systems across Melbourne
  • We will be upgrading and building over 14 kilometres of walking and cycling paths, creating almost 9 hectares of new parks, and landscaping existing open space.

In response to community feedback we’ve developed a design with even better connections, less community impacts, more walking and cycling paths and new green spaces.

Explore the design through our interactive map.

Key design updates include

  • a longer tunnel within the West Gate Freeway, which moves the westbound exit further away from existing homes
  • safer road design with four new lanes including express lanes to and from the West Gate Bridge
  • an improved city access design with through simplified connections and two fewer crossings of the Moonee Ponds Creek
  • over 14 km of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths – including a 2.5 km veloway above Footscray Road
  • improved pedestrian and cycling connections between communities along the West Gate Freeway
  • Nearly 9 ha, the equivalent of nearly four MCGs, of new community open space including parkland and wetlands and more than 17,000 trees planted
  • world-class architecture, urban and landscape design that celebrates the Aboriginal heritage and maritime history of Melbourne’s west
  • high-quality noise walls designed with residents in mind to reduce noise and protect privacy while allowing natural light

Download the transcript West Gate Tunnel Project – Design released (DOCX, 17KB)

Slashing congestion from Geelong to Pakenham

Melbourne’s freeways operate as an interconnected network. What happens on one part of this network can affect people travelling on other parts – even those that are many kilometres away. An incident on the West Gate Bridge can triple travel times for motorists.

The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a much-needed second river crossing – a vital alternative to the already busy West Gate Bridge. More lanes on the West Gate Freeway will slash travel times, and separated express lanes will reduce weaving and merging.

It also includes improved access to Webb Dock for trucks which will take trucks off the West Gate Freeway and directly to the Bolte Bridge and 30 kms of extra lanes will be added to the Monash Freeway.

The latest smart technology will be used to control all of these key connections into, and across Melbourne.

Urban design

Artist impression of Westbound tunnel entrance

Westbound tunnel entrance. Artists impression only – does not include detailed design

The project features world-class architecture, urban and landscape design. We have considered the form and character of the built environment and how people access, use and enjoy public spaces.

The West Gate Tunnel Project’s urban design has been carefully considered to enhance the local character with better walking and cycling connections and high quality recreational facilities. The infrastructure celebrates the rich history, Aboriginal heritage and maritime history of Melbourne’s west.

Melbourne is well-known for its excellence in urban design – from innovative buildings, attractive structures and landmark bridges to the clever use of public spaces. The West Gate Tunnel Project will build on and extend the reputation of leading urban infrastructure in Victoria.

A sustainable design

The West Gate Tunnel Project will meet an ‘excellent’ Infrastructure Sustainability rating by reusing and recycling materials, minimising construction truck movements and using smart design and sustainable equipment and materials to reduce energy during operation.

Artist impression of New bridge over the Maribyrnong River and Mackenzie Road ramps

New bridge connections over the Maribyrnong River to the new West Gate Tunnel. Artist impression - does not include detailed design.

Environment Effects Statement

The design was assessed in the West Gate Tunnel Project’s Environment Effects Statement (EES), which also included Development and Urban Design Plans. Read the documents here

More information

Download the Project overview, December 2017 (PDF, 1.1MB)