West Gate upgrade improves traffic flows

Extra lanes recently added on Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge cited for significantly improving traffic flow

October 7, 2011

Extra lanes recently added on Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge have been cited for significantly improving traffic flow and recognised for engineering excellence.

Major works to strengthen the bridge were completed in late June, allowing five lanes to run each way on the bridge.

Recent data shows traffic speed in the morning has increased by 111 percent on the bridge, from an average of 36km/h to 76km/h, Victoria Roads Minister Terry Mulder says.

"In addition, the afternoon peak has seen similar improvements with average travel speeds increasing by 64 percent, from 44 to 72km/h," he says.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says recognition in the Victorian Engineers Australia 2011 Engineering Excellence Awards last week shows "we are on the right track" on infrastructure. The bridge was also awarded the 2011 Civil Contractors Federation Earth Award.

The lane works are part of the Nation Building Program West Gate Bridge Strengthening project, jointly funded by the federal and Victorian governments.

"In addition to the significant traffic speed improvements, the new lanes also provide greater road space with approximately 1000 additional vehicles able to cross during peak times," Albanese says.

"This has clearly proven a great benefit for Melbourne drivers, especially those making a daily trip in from the western suburbs and Geelong."

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