A comprehensive, independent inquiry into the West Gate Tunnel gets underway today, giving community a chance to have their say on the congestion busting project.
The West Gate Tunnel Inquiry and Advisory Committee will spend the next six weeks hearing submissions from experts, engineers, councils, community groups, kindergartens, sporting clubs and local residents, looking at every aspect of the project.
The 10,000 page Environment Effects Statement (EES) released earlier this year shows the Tunnel will slash travel time, take trucks off residential streets and create 6,000 jobs.
It shows that Victoria needs an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, which already carries 200,000 vehicles every day. In less than 15 years that number will soar to 250,000.
By 2031, the impact of an overstretched bridge will be felt right along the M1 corridor, from Geelong to Pakenham. Without an alternative to the bridge, Melbourne will grind to a halt.
Traffic modelling shows that the tunnel will produce travel time savings of up to 20 minutes between Melbourne and the western suburbs, Geelong and Ballarat.
With the state’s freight task expected to treble to eight million containers a year, industry desperately needs a dedicated route to the port to get trucks off residential streets in the inner west.
The EES also details a Victorian first Human Health Impacts Assessment that found that there will be no measurable change in the health of the community associated with the project.
The hearings are open to the public and will be held at the Footscray Community Arts Centre from today until September 19.
Major Construction will start early next year and will be complete in 2022.
For more information visit westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au/ees.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“The West Gate Bridge is packed. That’s why we’re building a long awaited alternative, to take trucks off residential streets and improve traffic flow along the length of the M1, from Pakenham to Geelong.”
“The West Gate Tunnel will slash congestion, reduce travel times and create 6,000 jobs – we’re getting on with it.”