The West Gate Tunnel Project will feature world-class architecture, urban and landscape design that celebrates the rich Aboriginal heritage and maritime history of Melbourne’s West.

The project passes through four waterways and resource-rich settlement areas for Aboriginal people throughout the history of settlement in the west. Historical elements such as eels, canoes, netting and rope are reflected in the project’s structures, bridges and piers.

Storytelling signage and wayfinding along the Kororoit, Stony and Moonee Ponds creeks will celebrate the areas’ diverse cultural heritage and opportunities have been created for new and enhanced open space.

The project celebrates the unique identity and diverse nature of the west and will enhance the character of the communities through which it passes.

Build and enhance public space

Artists impression of upgraded West bank of Maribyrnong River, Footscray

West bank of Maribyrnong River, Footscray. Artist impression only – does not include detailed design

  • Multiple north-south connections across the West Gate Freeway will remove barriers and better connect communities
  • 3 ha of parkland in Altona North will create new open
    space, enhance the local landscape for existing and future residential developments and provide a new north-south connection under the West Gate Freeway to Federation Trail
  • Almost 3 ha of park and wetlands on Whitehall Street opposite Yarraville Gardens will completely transform the industrial land in this area, creating a new park for the local community
  • Over 14 km of new or upgraded cycling and walking paths will link public spaces and create a separated cycling path from Werribee to the city
  • Yarraville Gardens and the Maribyrnong River will be connected via a new pedestrian and cycle bridge
  • Landscaping will be upgraded along Kororoit, Stony and Moonee Ponds creeks
  • A longer westbound tunnel moves the ventilation structure further from people’s homes and creates a new green community space
  • Additional planting will provide a buffer between the freeway exit and future residential developments
  • Extensive tree and vegetation replanting and landscaping will offset any removal of trees and vegetation across the project
  • Industrial land on the west bank of the Moonee Ponds Creek will be opened up for community use and rehabilitated with hundreds of new native and Indigenous plants
  • A community park and viewing platform with environmental signage celebrating the area’s history will provide a new space for recreation and enjoyment of the creek

Respect the Aboriginal and maritime history of the west

  • High-quality noise walls are designed with residents in mind, to reduce traffic noise
  • The granite ridges of the You Yangs above Werribee and the crashing waves of the surf coast are referenced in design elements such as interchange sculptural features as well as the noise wall design and road safety barriers
  • The Aboriginal culture and heritage of the west is reflected in the design of the tunnel portals. It has been inspired by the form of the nets and traps used to catch eels – historically an important Aboriginal food source
  • The fluid forms of the ventilation structures draw on the shapes of traditional Aboriginal canoes and modern boat hulls
  • The Maribrynong River Bridge continues to showcase Melbourne’s maritime history with net cladding reflecting the scales of eels and fish and a curved shape echoing that of an anchor rope
Artist impression of New bridge over the Maribyrnong River and Mackenzie Road ramps

New bridge over the Maribyrnong River and Mackenzie Road ramps. Artist impression only – does not include detailed design.

Incorporate environmentally friendly design

  • Over 17,000 trees will be planted along the project corridor and we will work with local councils, communities and environmental groups to identify Indigenous and locally significant species
  • Water sensitive design will be used with the natural treatment of storm water run-off before it reaches waterways such as Moonee Ponds Creek
  • The 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

More information

For more information download our fact sheet Urban design to enrich the west (PDF, 1.2MB)