Despite key planning approvals and legislation not having passed parliament, construction has begun on Victoria’s West Gate Tunnel.
Whitehall Street in Footscray has seen workers erect a site and begin clearing and excavating the land at what will become the northern portal of the West Gate Tunnel, which will link the West Gate Freeway in Yarraville to the CityLink in Docklands.
At the Whitehall Street site workers will dig down more than seven storeys, which will act as the launching site for the project’s two 90 metre long, $50 million tunnel boring machines.
These TBM’s are expected to launch in 2019, from which they will tunnel 24 hours a day (moving 9 metres per day) travelling towards the West Gate Freeway.
Victorian Premier Daniel Edwards spoke about this major project from the site, stating;
"Blockers, people who have no plan, they are irrelevant to the work that needs to be done in this state," Mr Andrews said.
"We are not wasting any time, we said we would start almost immediately, that's exactly what has happened."
The project will be delivered by Translink, who are also contributing $4 billion in funding for the project. This will be in exchange for extending the CityLink Concession Deed for 10 years to 2045.
A secondary site will also be established at Somerville Road later in the year.
At its peak, it is expected that more than 500 construction workers will be employed on the West Gate Tunnel project.