City-shaping West Gate Tunnel Project continues progress towards completion

Monica Gameng   |   November 11, 2023
West Gate Tunnel bridge (cr: Victoria's Big Build)

Victoria’s city-shaping project – the West Gate Tunnel Project – has crossed two major milestones deep underground and high in the air, further taking commuters in Melbourne’s west closer to having better and more efficient travel times. 

The underground roadway and the connection between the new bridge across Maribyrnong Rover and Footscray’s elevated road are now complete, with the giant beams already in place. 

“This is a huge milestone for the West Gate Tunnel which is powering towards the finish line ahead of opening in 2025 – taking thousands of trucks off local roads and providing a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Danny Pearson said. 

Works will continue to join all elements of the project together and the main bridge over the Maribyrnong River serving as a vital second river crossing from the west. 

The bridge will have a span of 760 metres and will feature three lanes in each direction to allow motorists to seamlessly travel from the West Gate Tunnel to CityLink and the CBD. 

In addition to the completed roads, the two massive tunnel boring machines (TBMs) – Bella and Vida – have concluded their journeys and have already been dismantled along with the 400-tonne cranes that helped remove the TBMs from deep underground. 

To date, more than 250 crew members have worked around the clock to install about 7 kilometres of road deck in both tunnels. The crew will now move to installing hundreds of kilometres of electrical and safety systems while also delivering the ground ventilation system at the outbound tunnel exit as well as architectural timber features at its entrances. 

“From Footscray to Melton, Melbourne’s west is booming – and we’re keeping pace by building the vital second river crossing Victorians need to get them home sooner and safer. 

“Crews have done an amazing job working around the clock under our feet and high above the ground to power ahead on this project. I want to thank them for their work in building this landmark project for our city’s west,” Premier Jacinta Allan said. 

Project-Map-Overview-2023West Gate Tunnel Project map (source: Victoria's Big Build)

The West Gate Tunnel Project will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Freeway and West Gate Bridge to provide quicker and safer journeys as well as remove thousands of trucks from residential streets. 

This transformative project will include widening the West Gate Freeway; building twin tunnels that connect the West Gate Freeway to the Port of Melbourne and CityLink; construction of a bridge over Maribyrnong River that links to an elevated road along Footscray Road; installation of state-of-the-art smart technology along the length of the project; delivery of an additional 14 kilometres of walking and cycling paths for a continuous journey from Werribee to the city; and the creation of about nine hectares of new parks and wetlands. 

Major construction on the West Gate Tunnel Project commenced in 2018 and it is expected to be completed by late 2025. 

The overall project is estimated to create up to 6,000 jobs over its life, with more than 500 opportunities for apprentices, trainees and graduates. 

The Victorian Government has partnered with Transurban to build the West Gate Tunnel Project, with its construction undertaken by a consortium between CPB Contractors and John Holland. 

“I want to thank the local community for their patience while we get on with building this important project, which will cut congestion, reduce travel times and get trucks off local roads,” Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne said. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Victoria’s Big Build – West Gate Tunnel Project; The National Tribune 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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