A John Holland and CPB Contractors consortium is the preferred tenderer to build the project, which includes the state’s longest road tunnel at 4 kilometres.
The project includes widening the West Gate Freeway from eight lanes to 12 between the M80 Ring Rd and Williamstown Rd; building a 2-8-kilometre eastbound tunnel and the 4-kilometre westbound tunnel under Yarraville; and constructing a bridge over the Maribyrnong River to provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge.
The two three-lane tunnels, second river crossing, and new freeway above Footscray Road will be built using 93 per cent local content, with around 92 per cent local steel – creating jobs across the supply chain.
The project also includes 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.
With the addition of the West Gate Tunnel, the state government will introduce 24/7 truck bans on Francis St, Somerville Rd, Buckley St and Moore St.
According to a statement from John Holland Chief Executive Officer Joe Barr, the result recognised the efforts the joint venture had made to ensure an exceptional outcome for the community.
“Our solution features urban design with strong Indigenous elements, as well as high social and environmental value. Our leading edge use of intelligent transport technology will provide improved driver experience and operational effectiveness,” he said.
John Holland Executive General Manager VIC Trevor Hall said it was exciting to be involved in a project that would create such important benefits for the people of Melbourne.
“The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge and direct access to the port. In doing so, it will slash traffic congestion, improve productivity, remove numerous trucks from local roads and reduce travel times for motorists,” he said.
“We see this project as amazing opportunity to undertake significant industry training and also create many jobs in Victoria.”
The project will now be assessed through an Environmental Effect Statement, which will be publically exhibited mid-2017.
Contract close is expected late 2017 following the approval decision on the EES.
Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018.