was the topic of the  presentation at our last Tuesday  Zoom meeting  This  meeting had great appeal and we had a large attendance of 28 persons . This included 4 visitors  who showed their interest by participating in the question session at the end of the meeting
 The Speakers ,The leadings speaker was Kathryn Norton ( seen in the attached photo with colleague Jack in front of the tunnel boring machine )    She was assisted with Hilary van Herwaarden , Henry Graves and Christopher McKenna, (Senior Project Engineer),
They presented an update on the construction of the West Gate Tunnel Project.  
  • The tunnel is 5 km long and is scheduled to open in 2023 .This Tunnel is a Victorian Government $6.7 billion major road project, being delivered in partnership with Transurban. The West Gate Tunnel Authority (formerly the Western Distributor Authority) is the government body responsible for the management and delivery of the project.
  • There will be Twin tunnels under Yarraville between the West Gate Freeway and the Maribyrnong River. New Bridge over Maribyrnong River.
  • Entry and exit portals where the tunnels connect with surface roads
  • Ventilation structures at each tunnel exit to remove air from inside the tunnels. They will be over 20 m in height and currently subject to discussion due to the visual impact.
  • Walking and cycling paths on Hyde Street, Harris Street, Maribyrnong Street and a bridge over Whitehall Street.
  • New landscaped open space in Altona North and Footscray
  • Freeway Management System to support good traffic flow and safety
  • Tunnel safety features for smooth operation of the tunnel, including automatic detection for over-height trucks, fire systems and emergency access and exits.
There will be alignment comprising twin tunnels, a new bridge over the Maribyrnong river and an impressive veloway that will take cyclists through a safer, elevated route from Footscray Road to Docklands – The West Gate Tunnel project will see thousands of trucks taken off local roads and enhance Melbourne’s famous livability – all while improving safety and connectivity on     cross-city routes, and to and from the rapidly developing west.
The tunnel will be 4 kilometre outbound tunnel first, closely followed by the 2.8 kilometre inbound tunnel. The longer tunnel will take around 18 months to bore
The project will include:
  • two, three-lane tunnels, including Victoria’s longest road tunnel (4 km)
  • widening the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge
  • a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River and an elevated motorway connection to a new interchange at CityLink
  • over 14 km of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths including a new 2.5 km raised veloway
We will have nearly 9 ha of new open space and wetlands, and over 17 500 trees planted
The $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel project was due to start in July last year and finish by 2022, but was delayed after Transurban, its builders and the State Government could not agree on how to treat and dump contaminated soil.
This contaminant is  a byproduct of fire retardant foam that has apparently leeched it's way through the soil all along Footscray Road area.
 Key benefits:
•Giving people a choice -the tunnel or the bridge- •Getting 9,000 trucks off local streets in the inner west- •Enabling 24 hour truck banson six local roads
•Better connecting Melbourne's freeway network, to help people and goods move around- •Better managing traffic flows and incidents through smart technology- •Over 14 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths
•A bridge over the Maribyrnong River to connect the tunnels with an elevated road above Footscray Road
•Ramps to the port at MacKenzieRoad and Appleton Dock Road for direct freeway access
•Elevated roadway connecting to CityLink, Dynon Road and FootscrayRoad, running above the centre of Footscray Road