A CPB Contractors/John Holland joint venture will commence construction on the West Gate Tunnel next month, now expected to cost $6.7 billion – about $1.2 billion above its original estimated cost, with the Victorian Government finalising contracts on the project this week.
The builders have begun moving into a construction compound in Footscray where they’ll begin work on the northern tunnel portal.
A statement from the state government said the six-lane tunnel will take thousands of trucks off residential streets in the inner west, slash congestion along the M1 corridor from Pakenham to Geelong and create thousands of Victorian jobs.
The final design approved for construction will cost $6.7 billion, which the Victorian Government said in the statement is due to tunnels now twice as long as the original business case to “improve traffic flow and protect homes, better city connections, additional noise walls, the creation of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths, and extending air quality monitoring for 10 years”.
Construction of the new road tunnel will be partly funded with a ten-year extension of the CityLink Concession deed.
According to the government, this partnership has been assessed as high value for taxpayers and for drivers, with tolls increasing at a lower rate than agreed by the previous Liberal government to fund the CityLink-Tulla Widening Project.
Legislation to operate the new road tunnel, and amendments to the CityLink concession deed, will be introduced into Parliament before the road is complete in 2022.
In addition to the business case released in 2015, the government this week released key documents, including a project summary, concession deed amendments, an exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and the value for money assessment. The government will also shortly release the contracts between Transurban and the State.
The project is anticipated to be finished in 2022.