Western Distributor Project Gets The Green Light

The Andrews Labor Government will partner with Transurban to build the $5.5 billion Western Distributor Project, which includes the Monash Freeway Upgrade and upgrades to Webb Dock.

Premier Daniel Andrews, Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan today released the Victorian Government’s reference business case, which shows the project stacks up financially, delivering a benefit of $1.30 for every dollar invested.

The Western Distributor will deliver immediate travel time savings of up to 20 minutes a day, take 6,000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge, and create 5,600 new jobs. The estimated $5.5 billion project will:

Widen the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 and Williamstown Road
Build a tunnel under Yarraville and a second river crossing over the Maribyrnong
Construct an elevated road along Footscray Road with direct links to the Port of Melbourne
Create the longest managed motorway system in Australia from Geelong to Pakenham
Build 4.5km of new cycling and pedestrian paths including completion of the Federation Trail
This project will put an end to trucks rat-running through inner west streets to get to the Port, with existing truck curfews on local roads to be extended once construction has completed.
The final scope and design will be confirmed in consultation with the community, local government and industry during a comprehensive planning process to be undertaken during 2016.

The Labor Government will also deliver the Monash Freeway Upgrade as part of the project, providing a network-wide solution and streamlining traffic from Geelong to Pakenham.

The project will be funded through a combination of tolling on the Western Distributor, an extension of Transurban’s CityLink concession, and State and Commonwealth contributions.

Construction on Webb Dock will begin this month, the Monash Freeway Upgrade section will start construction in 2016, construction on the Western Distributor begins in early 2018, and the full project will be completed by 2022.

The Government has moved to Stage 4 of the market-led proposal guidelines and has submitted the business case to the Commonwealth Government and Infrastructure Australia for assessment and funding consideration.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re getting on with the Western Distributor to provide an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, slash congestion on the M1 from the west to the south east and create thousands of new jobs.”

“Motorists will see immediate travel time savings of up to 20 minutes a day – almost two hours a week Victorians can spend at home with family instead of stuck in traffic on the West Gate or Monash.”

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“We always said that we’d ensure that the project represented value for money for Victorian taxpayers, and it does.”

“The business case found that this project will deliver a return of $1.30 for every dollar invested, and an $11 billion boost to Victoria’s economy.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan

“Congestion and trucks bound for the Port are choking residential streets and costing Victorian businesses.”

“The Western Distributor will take 22,000 vehicles a day off the West Gate Bridge, including up to 6,000 trucks and improve links to the Port of Melbourne, Webb Dock and the inner north.”