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Victoria turns attention toward West Gate Distributor project

Victorian Government seeks to remove 5,000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge every day.


The Victorian Government’s plan to remove 5,000 trucks from Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge has taken a step forward, with calls going out for expressions of interest to build the first stage of the new West Gate Distributor.

Once built, the $500 million project will take trucks to the Port of Melbourne via a dedicated road link. The Victorian Government says the road will ease congestion for city bound traffic from Geelong, Ballarat and the western suburbs.

The $40 million first stage of the project includes widening Moreland Street, installing a new signalised intersection at Footscray Road and Moreland Street, and widening and strengthening the Shepherd Bridge over the Maribyrnong River to add additional lanes.

The Victorian Government says the upgrades to Footscray Road and the Shepherd Bridge will eliminate bottlenecks and increase the flow of traffic and the efficiency of freight.

“We’re getting straight to work. This project will remove 5,000 trucks a day from the West Gate Bridge,” Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says.

“Building the West Gate Distributor and removing 50 of our most dangerous and congested level crossings will make it easier for Victorians to get to work every morning.”

Expressions of interest for the first stage opened on January 21, with stakeholder and community consultation to begin in February. Shortlisted contractors will take part in a tenders process in May.

The Victorian Government expects to award the contract mid-year and for construction to begin by the end of 2015. It says planning and investigations are underway for the remaining stages of works.

The number of commercial vehicles travelling on the West Gate Bridge is expected to double over the next 20 years, while the number of truck visits to Swanson Dock is expected to increase to 12,000 each day over the same period of time.

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