Construction for a new elevated road linking Melbourne’s Tullamarine Freeway to Melbourne Airport’s Terminal four has resumed, after the project was put on hold in early 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts.
The two-stage project was first announced in 2019, aiming to create a more streamlined exit from the Tullamarine Freeway to all Melbourne Airport terminals, so travellers would no longer need to navigate roundabouts and busy intersections.
Stage one of the project was approved by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development in 2019 and a $60 million contract was awarded to Seymour Whyte in November 2019. However, the project was put on hold due to COVID-19 impacts, international and domestic border closures, and severe effects on the aviation industry.
As restrictions eased and borders re-opened, and with the intent to restart the economy and get ready to welcome back domestic passengers and tourists, Australia Pacific Airports (Melbourne) approached Seymour Whyte in August 2021 to restart works as part of the initial contract.
A further $260 million is earmarked for stage two of the road upgrade, which may include a second elevated link to facilitate better connections to Terminals one, two and three.
The scope of the stage one project includes a 200-metre long part at-grade and part-elevated nine-span road consisting of five spans concrete super T’s and four spans of steel box girders. It also involves construction of pier protection barriers, reinforced earth walls, and associated structures.
The T4 Express Link will improve airport access and deliver a 30 per cent faster journey to T4 compared to current travel times. It’s expected to carry 5000 vehicles per day when completed.
Once both stages are complete, the project will add around 1.6 kilometres of new road to the airport’s existing network. Stage two is estimated to remove about 40,000 cars from Terminal Drive and improve travel times for people driving into the airport precinct by around 35 minutes.
Seymour Whyte currently has preliminary enabling works underway, with major works scheduled to start from February 2022.