John Holland has been chosen as preferred contractor to deliver Victoria’s West Gate Tunnel Project in a 50:50 joint venture with CPB Contractors.
The project involves widening the West Gate Freeway from eight to 12 lanes between the M80 Ring Toad and Williamstown Road, plus;• Building a 2.8km eastbound tunnel and a 4km westbound tunnel under Yarraville;
• Constructing a bridge over the Maribyrnong River providing an alternative to the West Gate Bridge;
• Constructing an elevated road along Footscray Road to the Port of Melbourne; and
• Major new cycling and pedestrian paths.
The design now includes Victoria’s longest road tunnel – at 4 kilometres – which will become the vital new alternative to the West Gate Bridge, slashing travel times from the western suburbs, Geelong, and Ballarat.
The project will create 6,000 new jobs, including 500 apprentices, up to 150 jobs for former auto workers, and around 400 jobs in Melbourne’s west. The two three-lane tunnels, second river crossing, and new freeway above Footscray Road will be built using 93 per cent local content, with around 92 per cent local steel. West Gate Tunnel Project will place a 24/7 truck ban to improve safety, reduce noise, and greatly improve air quality for local families.
Once completed in 2022, the tunnel project will give trucks a dedicated route to the Port and mean they no longer have to rely on local roads.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said taking trucks off other roads through the west would improve commuter travel times into the city by 20 minutes.
Trucks will be banned day and night on Francis Street and Somerville Road in Yarraville, and Buckley Street and Moore Street in Footscray. The bans, which do not include trucks with a local origin and destination, will be in place upon the opening of the West Gate Tunnel in 2022. As preferred contractor, the joint venture partners will now support Transurban and the Victorian Government through the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, which will assess the potential environmental, social, economic and planning impacts of the project, and recommend the approach to managing these impacts.
The news comes as two tenderers including John Holland were shortlisted for the design and construction for the upgrade of the $400million Stage One Ipswich Motorway in Queensland.
Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said one of the two shortlisted tenderers was a joint venture between BMD Constructions and John Holland Queensland with the other a joint venture between Bielby, JF Hull and Albem.
John Holland Chief Executive Officer, Joe Barr, said the result recognised the efforts the Joint Venture had made to ensure an exceptional outcome for the community.
“Our solution features urban design with strong Indigenous elements, as well as high social and environmental value. Our leading edge use of intelligent transport technology will provide improved driver experience and operational effectiveness,” he said.
“We are looking forward to working with Transurban and the Victorian Government on this vital piece of infrastructure.”
Executive General Manager VIC, Trevor Hall, said it was exciting to be involved in a project that would create such important benefits for the people of Melbourne.
“The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge and direct access to the port. In doing so, it will slash traffic congestion, improve productivity, remove numerous trucks from local roads and reduce travel times for motorists,” he said.
“We see this project as an amazing opportunity to undertake significant industry training and also create many jobs in Victoria.”
Contract close is expected late 2017 following the Minister’s approval decision on the EES.
There will also be 14km of new and upgraded cycling and walking paths – including a new 2.5km veloway above Footscray Road and new bridges over Whitehall St and Footscray Rd to boost safety for cyclists and pedestrians.