West Gate Tunnel powers ahead

High above Footscray Road, a major milestone on the Andrews Labor Government’s West Gate Tunnel Project will soon be reached – with a giant 1400-tonne crane lifting the final piece of the new elevated freeway into place.

The 40-metre-high and 116-metre-long gantry has been hoisting massive 100-tonne pieces of concrete roadway into the air and stitching them together above Footscray Road.

The massive crane has been building the new road that will link the twin tunnels to the city and port. Once complete, the project will slash travel times by up to 20 minutes and take 9,000 trucks a day off local roads in the inner west.

“From Footscray to Melton, Melbourne’s west is booming. And as our suburbs grow, we’re keeping pace by building the roads Victorians need to get them home sooner and safer,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“The elevated Footscray Road will slash travel times for people in our western suburbs and take thousands of trucks off local roads, connecting the tunnels to CityLink and the CBD and providing direct access to the port,” Premier Added.

“We’ve reached yet another important milestone as we power ahead with the West Gate Tunnel, providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, slashing travel times and taking thousands of trucks off local roads,” Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Jacinta Allan added.

Crews will now focus on the fit-out including bridge barriers, the new and modern freeway management system, and asphalting to pave the way for the six-lane freeway.

At the same time, multiple cranes will spend five weeks dismantling the huge gantry crane and preparing its spare parts for reuse.

Important pieces of the project are coming together, with widening works on the West Gate Freeway almost complete, more than 80 per cent of road deck now installed across the twin tunnels and a strengthened, widened Dynon Road – which reopened to drivers last week.

Last weekend, the first of two huge bridge beams were installed to create a new ramp to CityLink that will provide another route to Melbourne Airport.

Work will soon start on the new bridge to go over Dudley Street – extending Wurundjeri Way to Dynon Road and creating a city bypass that will take up to 2,500 cars and trucks a day off streets like Spencer and King Streets.

The West Gate Tunnel will transform travel in Melbourne’s west, providing a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge and a much needed second river crossing.

The project will create 6000 jobs – with more than 500 for apprentices, trainees and graduates.

It will also create 14 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths, and close to nine hectares of new parks and wetlands.

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