Major construction work has begun on Victoria’s multi-billion dollar West Gate Tunnel in Melbourne. CPB Contractors was selected by road operator Transurban and the State Government of Victoria as the preferred contractor for the project in April 2017, in a 50:50 joint venture with John Holland.
The West Gate Tunnel project, one of Victoria’s largest ever urban road projects, will deliver a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge, provide quicker and safer journeys, and remove thousands of trucks from residential streets. The project is scheduled to open to traffic in 2022 – but it is disputed on the political level. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on January 31, that the West Gate Tunnel had started to be built, and would proceed even if it did not get planning approval in Parliament.
Design and construction works include widening the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road; a 2.8 km eastbound tunnel and 4 km westbound tunnel under Yarraville; a new bridge over the Maribyrnong River; an elevated road along Footscray Road to the Port of Melbourne, CityLink and the city’s north. The West Gate Tunnel project will cost 6.7 billion Australian dollars (4.3 billion euros).
Two Herrenknecht TBMs with 15.6 m diameter are on their way to Melbourne. According to the Victorian Government, the machines are the biggest TBMs in the Southern Hemisphere,
The first TBM will be launched at the northern tunnel portal in Footscray in early 2019. At an estimated advance rate of around 9 m per day, the TBMs will approximately take two years to build the 6.8 km twin tunnels between the Maribyrnong River and the West Gate Freeway.