Melbourne will have a desperately needed alternative to the West Gate Bridge in 2022, with Transurban today finalising a contract with the Victorian Government to build and operate the West Gate Tunnel Project.

Transurban CEO Scott Charlton said this milestone marks one of the most comprehensive and transparent project developments undertaken in Victoria that will transform the way the way people and goods travel around Melbourne.

“Both the M1 and CityLink will run better when the project opens. It will free up space by taking around 28,000 vehicles off the West Gate Bridge and 22,000 off the Bolte Bridge every day and improve travel times by up to 20 minutes for drivers,” Mr Charlton said.

“The Project includes more lanes on the West Gate Freeway, a new tunnel and elevated motorway connecting the growing western suburbs and CityLink. Combined with the Monash Freeway Upgrade, it will provide network improvements from Pakenham to Geelong.

“State-of-the-art freeway management technology will be delivered along the corridor to offer motorists more consistent travel times and enshrine Melbourne’s status as the smart motorway capital of the southern hemisphere.

“The community has played a leading role in shaping the design, with extensive engagement resulting in a number of benefits for local communities including longer tunnels, high-quality noise walls, more open space, extensive cycling and walking paths and world-class urban design that will be enjoyed by generations to come.” 

Transurban brings to the table world leading expertise and a track record in delivering complex, major infrastructure projects.

The construction phase commences today with preparation works kicking off ahead of major works next year. The CPB Contractors and John Holland Joint Venture, teaming up with Transurban will deliver this city-shaping project that will connect people with jobs and services and support freight movements around Melbourne.

"Developing effective road transport options such as the West Gate Tunnel Project together with public transport and active transport modes are essential for any modern city looking to foster growth and liveability into the future," Mr Charlton said.

“As a company that started right here in Melbourne, we remain committed to offering people choices for how they move around their city and this project will help alleviate a key bottleneck and improve road safety.

 “Our focus will remain on minimising disruption during the construction phase and we will keep drivers up-to-date with traffic changes across the network by providing regular updates on the project website, via social media, advertising and on-road signs.”

Details at www.westgatetunnelproject.vic.gov.au.