Victoria approves Transurban's unsolicited proposal

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Victoria approves Transurban's unsolicited proposal

The Victorian Government (Australia) has approved Transurban's unsolicited proposal to deliver a new Melbourne motorway, the Western Distributor project.

The new road is expected to provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge moving trucks pff local roads in the city's inner west. The unsolicited proposals incorporates the delivery of three key sections.

  • Western Distributor: a proposed tunnel and elevated motorway that connects the West Gate Freeway with the Port of Melbourne, CityLink and the CBD, providing an alternative river crossing and easing pressure on the West Gate Bridge. This is estimated to increase the river crossing capacity by 60%.
  • West Gate Freeway widening: two additional lanes from the M-80 Ring Road to the West Gate Bridge, boosting capacity of the corridor by approximately 50%.
  • Webb Dock access improvements: upgrading Cook Street and the West Gate Freeway-to-Bolte Bridge ramp to complement works already underway and improve safety and access from Webb Dock.

The proposal includes the roll out of a state-of-the-art freeway management system to manage the flow and entry of vehicles on the motorway, such as overhead lane use signs, electronic on road message boards, ramp metering, CCTV and automatic incident detection systems. This would complement existing managed motorways along the M1 corridor in the south east and the M80 corridor in the west.

The total project investment is estimated between A$5 billion (US$3.94 billion) and A$5.5 billion (US$4.34 billion)Transurban's proposed funding structure for the Western Distributor does not require any direct funding from the State and would likely include tolls for motorists using the new tunnel, tolls for heavy vehicles using the upgraded West Gate Freeway/new tunnel corridor and an extension of the current CityLink Concession.

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