Motorists can expect significant delays on the West Gate Freeway and the Bolte Bridge due to major construction of an extra lane off the Bolte Bridge and along the West Gate Freeway through to the Burnley Tunnel.
The work to provide an additional traffic lane is likely to take up to 18 months and will unlock one of the most significant choke points on Melbourne’s road network, allowing more capacity to cater for the city’s growing population and increasing economic activity.
Construction will cause delays on the Bolte Bridge and the West Gate Freeway inbound during the morning peak, but will not have any impact on outbound traffic in the morning or afternoon.
Drivers from the west and north of the city can expect trips in the morning peak to take up to 15 minutes longer during construction, which begins on 16 March.
The works will help to untangle a congested piece of road that has a major impact on the performance of the M1 road corridor, Melbourne’s economic spine.
Drivers will be able to manage their journeys in real time through smart technology designed to minimise the impact of these critical works, which form a key part of the $1.3 billion CityLink Tulla Widening project.
Bluetooth technology will be applied by VicRoads and Transurban to track journey times and to alert city-bound drivers of their best options using on-road signage, digital and social media and radio station traffic alerts.
Bluetooth readers will collect data in real time and to enable advice on alternative routes as well as allowing for changes to traffic light sequencing to give priority to alternative routes.
This data will also be shared with GPS providers to help motorists plan their journeys.
Motorists should consider alternative routes for city-bound trips from the west including Geelong Road and Footscray Road as an alternative to the Lorimer Street and Kings Way exit.
Tow trucks will be positioned along the route to respond rapidly to any incidents that could impact the wider network.
The CityLink Tulla Widening is part of an ambitious program of road and public transport investment that is supporting Melbourne’s growth and liveability, including the Western Distributor and Melbourne Metro projects.
It will create 1400 jobs, improve travel times and reduce accidents by up to 20 per cent. The full project will be completed in 2018.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“Let’s be clear: we know this will mean delays for motorists, we know there will be some tough months ahead and we know it will take time for people to settle in to different driving conditions and travel patterns.”
“But these are delays for a purpose while we work to unlock the most significant choke point on Melbourne’s road network.”
“To ease the commute as we carry out these critical works, we’re using smart technology to assist motorists to manage their journey, report on congestion and change their routes to work during the morning peak.”
“Motorists should plan their journey, allow extra travel time and, if they’re able to, consider alternative routes or public transport.”
Quotes attributable to the Transurban Project Director David Clements
"We are alerting drivers to these works so they can consider the impact on their daily commute and plan ahead for the change in traffic conditions.”
"Together with VicRoads, our traffic team will use smart Bluetooth technology to monitor traffic flows and provide drivers with on-road advice about delays and alternative routes.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020