Drivers getting off the West Gate Freeway at Williamstown Road will use a new off-ramp from today as work powers ahead on the Andrews Labor Government’s congestion busting West Gate Tunnel.
The temporary ramp will give workers space to start working on the city bound entrance to the 2.8 kilometre city bound tunnel that will link the West Gate Freeway to the port, the CBD and CityLink.
The change comes as another major test looms for the Liberals, with the Greens giving notice that they will try to use Parliament to stop work on the West Gate Tunnel.
The Liberals now have a clear choice – do they support jobs, getting trucks off local roads and relieving traffic congestion? Or will they again team up with the Greens to try and block this urgently needed project?
By attempting to revoke current planning permission, the Greens are trying to sack the more than 1,200 workers already building the project and stop the Labor Government’s 24-hour truck bans for residents in the inner west.
When the Liberals tried the same stunt in March, the move was slammed by industry and community groups.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Victorian Transport Association, the Urban Development Institute, and G21 Geelong have all repeatedly called on the Liberals and Greens not to take this reckless step.
While the Liberals and Greens entertain political games, work is powering ahead on the West Gate Tunnel.
From today, the Williamstown Road temporary ramp will divert drivers around the construction zone for the tunnel portal while the permanent Williamstown Road exit ramp is built over the next six months.
Drivers will also soon notice increased activity as works to widen the West Gate Freeway from eight to 12 lanes also ramps up.
Work is already underway to prepare the sites for construction and 800 safety barriers have been installed between Williamstown Road and the M80 Ring Road.
The freeway widening works will be staged to shift traffic lanes to the sides of the freeway or the centre median, allowing construction to take place safely on different parts of the road.
Drivers will be kept moving with all lanes open during peak periods while works are carried out.
The West Gate Tunnel Project, will slash travel from the west to the city by up to 20 minutes.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan
“This new ramp will be a change for drivers but it will allow workers to get on with the job of widening the West Gate Freeway and building the western entrance to Melbourne’s alternative to the West Gate Bridge.”
“This week will be a massive test for the Liberals and Matthew Guy – will they listen to industry and community groups and finally support the West Gate Tunnel, or will he side with the Greens to sack 1200 workers and cancel this urgently needed project?”
Reviewed 19 August 2020