VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews this week announced that a consortium headlined by John Holland and CPB Contractors has been selected to build the West Gate Tunnel project following an extensive competitive process.
The design now includes Victoria's longest road tunnel – at 4 kilometres – which will become the new alternative to the West Gate Bridge and consist of two three-lane tunnels, second river crossing, and new freeway above Footscray Road.
Mr Andrew said the project will give the western suburbs a first-class freeway they deserve, with world-leading architecture and urban design that celebrates the aboriginal heritage and maritime history of Melbourne's west.
The updated design further responds to community feedback with the best quality noise walls in Victoria, a 1 kilometre-longer tunnel that moves the exit and ventilation structure away from homes, and the creation of 9 hectares of new open space and wetlands.
There will be 14 kilometres of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths – including a new 2.5-kilometre veloway above Footscray Road and new bridges over Whitehall St and Footscray Rd to boost safety for cyclists and pedestrians.
Following completion of the West Gate Tunnel, the State Government will introduce 24/7 truck bans on Francis St, Somerville Rd, Buckley St and Moore St.
The project will now be assessed through an Environment Effects Statement (EES), which will be publicly exhibited mid-year before final contractual close at the end of the year, and construction in early 2018.