THE Victorian Government last week said its 2016-17 Budget will provide the full funding required to build the Western Distributor Project, which includes the widening of the West Gate Freeway, a tunnel under Yarraville and a second river crossing of the Maribyrnong.
The first full designs for the project include two options for connecting the West Gate Freeway to the Western Distributor Tunnel – either directly within the road reserve, or via ramps to a portal in adjacent land.
The Western Distributor will also link to the city and the surrounding road network with connections to CityLink, Dynon Road and an extended Wurundjeri Way.
Also last week, the government and Transurban signed an agreement on processes for the tender, planning and engagement stages and announced the establishment of the Western Distributor Authority to support the delivery of the project.
The Western Distributor project includes:
- A tunnel under Yarraville, with options for portal locations and the length of the tunnel to be considered during the planning phase;
- Ramps directly connecting the West Gate Freeway to Hyde Street for trucks carrying dangerous goods;
- Two additional lanes in each direction on the West Gate Freeway between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road;
- A bridge over the Maribyrnong River joining an elevated road along Footscray Road;
- Connections to the Port of Melbourne – with links to Appleton Dock Road, McKenzie Road and Dock Link Road being considered;
- Connections to CityLink – with options to enhance access to the CBD;
- More lanes and upgraded roadside technology on the Monash Freeway between Warrigal Road, Chadstone and Koo Wee Rup Road, Pakenham;
- Improvements to connections to Webb Dock, with upgrades to Cook Street and the West Gate Freeway-to-Bolte Bridge ramp;
- New cycling and walking paths; and
- Smart roadways technology to enhance the performance of the M1 managed motorway.
In addition to the State Government funding, the project will be delivered through tolling and an extension of Transurban's CityLink concession.