Work to slash congestion and take thousands of trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s west is continuing at pace, as construction on the internal road surface on twin tunnels on the Andrews Labor Government’s West Gate Tunnel Project nears completion.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan joined workers on the project to travel the drivable length of the tunnel for the very first time, marking a huge milestone for the project.
Now more than 70 per cent complete, more than 4.5 kilometres of road deck has been installed across both tunnels, with a specialist machine lifting and installing more than 2,000 giant 24-tonne concrete segments to create the future road surface.
The removal of both Tunnel Boring Machines is also underway, with a 400-tonne crane moving into position to lift the final pieces of TBM Bella’s 15-metre wide cutterhead out of the outbound portal, and the dismantling of TBM Vida nearing completion.
This is the first Australian tunnel to be constructed with an elevated road surface, providing another tunnel underneath to serve as an important point for maintenance of critical services, ventilation and emergency access.
The West Gate Tunnel’s twin tunnels will have capacity for thousands of vehicles per day across three lanes of traffic.
Important pieces of the project are coming together, with widening works on the West Gate Freeway nearing completion and the giant launching gantry crane above Footscray Road preparing for its final lifts.
Work is also underway to construct the tunnel entries and exits and prepare for the installation of the timber net structures.
The Labor Government’s West Gate Tunnel Project will slash congestion and travel time in Melbourne’s west, removing around 9000 trucks a day from local roads and creating 14 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“This is the biggest tunnel project Australia has ever seen – we thank the thousands of Victorians who have worked around the clock to get us closer to the finish line on a project that will transform our transport network.”
“The West Gate Tunnel will slash travel times, take more than 9,000 trucks off local roads, and get families home safer and sooner.”
“We thank the community for their patience and understanding while we get on with this important work to significantly improve Victoria’s transport network.”
Reviewed 02 August 2023