John Holland & CPB Contractors have been selected by Transurban and the State Government of Victoria to deliver Victoria’s multi-billion dollar West Gate Tunnel project in a 50:50 joint venture.

Major construction work is expected to start in early 2018 with the project scheduled to open to traffic in 2022.

Early works will start in January, with the first of two massive Tunnel Boring Machines to be ordered in the next few weeks. The project will be complete in 2022.

“The time for talking is over – this project will deliver a long-overdue alternative to the West Gate Bridge, create thousands of jobs and construction starts next month.” Said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews

Chief Executive Officer, Joe Barr, said the project would provide important benefits to the people of Melbourne.

“In providing an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge and direct access to the port, the project will significantly decrease traffic congestion, improve productivity, remove numerous trucks from local roads and reduce travel times for motorists,” he said.

Executive General Manager VIC, Trevor Hall, said he looked forward to working with the community to deliver this important piece of infrastructure.

“Our solution features urban design with high social and environmental value. We will work in partnership with residents and other stakeholders to ensure the project provides exceptional outcomes,” he said.

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.

Design and construction works include widening the West Gate Freeway from eight lanes to 12 between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road; a 2.8km eastbound tunnel and 4km 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; and major new cycling and pedestrian paths.

Construction of the West Gate Tunnel will begin next month, with the Andrews Labor Government today signing contracts to build the vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge.

Builders CPB/John Holland today began moving into a construction compound in Footscray, where they’ll begin work on the northern tunnel portal in January next year.

The six-lane tunnel will take thousands of trucks off residential streets in the inner west, slash congestion along the M1 corridor from Pakenham to Geelong and create thousands of Victorian jobs.

The project will stop rat runs in the inner west for good – and 24/7 truck bans will be enshrined in law.

As part of a Public Private Partnership with Transurban, the Labor Government has negotiated a fairer deal for Victorians under the rigorous Market-led Proposal guideline – including making the toll recovery system fairer and removing Kennett-era clauses that compensate Transurban for road projects that divert traffic off its network.

Construction of the new road tunnel will be partly funded with a ten-year extension of the CityLink Concession deed. This partnership has been assessed as high value for taxpayers and for drivers, with tolls increasing at a lower rate than agreed by the previous Liberal government to fund the CityLink-Tulla Widening Project.

Legislation to operate the new road tunnel, and amendments to the CityLink concession deed, will be introduced into Parliament before the road is complete in 2022.

While the Government fully expects Parliament to support a second river crossing and thousands of new jobs, the contract allows for the Government to pay for the road and its operation if Parliament opposes these changes.

The project will provide an estimated $11 billion boost to the Victorian economy, creating 6,000 new jobs, including 500 jobs for people entering the workforce, and up to 150 jobs for former auto workers.

There have been massive improvements to the project’s scope after five design updates, through two years of community consultation and a comprehensive Environment Effects Statement process.

The final design approved for construction will cost $6.7 billion, due to tunnels now twice as long as the original business case to improve traffic flow and protect homes, better city connections, additional noise walls, the creation of massive new open spaces and more cycling paths, and extending air quality monitoring for 10 years.

In addition to the business case released in 2015, the Government today released key documents, including a project summary, concession deed amendments, an exposure draft of the West Gate Tunnel Bill and the value for money assessment. The Government will also shortly release the contracts between Transurban and the State.