An approximate $850 million upgrade and widening of both CityLink and a section of the Tullamarine Freeway will bolster their capacity by 30%, Premier Denis Napthine announced today.
Joined by Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Minister for Roads Terry Mulder, Dr Napthine said the joint Government and Transurban project will create 700 jobs, significantly reduce congestion and improve travel times and safety along one of Melbourne’s biggest traffic hot spots.
“Recognising that construction will cause some commuter disruption, Transurban has agreed to suspend toll increases during the two-year period when the majority of construction will occur. This suspension applies for car, motorcycle and light commercial vehicle users on the whole of CityLink,” Dr Napthine said.
“Those who regularly travel to and from the Airport, or use CityLink or the Tullamarine Freeway, will understand the significance of this announcement for Victoria.
“This project will complement the East West Link and the Airport Rail Link, boosting their capacity and significantly reducing the risk of accidents for drivers.
“Road congestion costs Victoria, in terms of lost time and productivity, and this project will cut travel times by up to 16 minutes per trip during peak periods between Melbourne Airport and the West Gate Freeway,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said the project will also benefit local residents, with an extra 3,000 commercial vehicles expected to access the freeway instead of local roads following the upgrade.
Financed by Transurban and commencing in 2015, the project will add extra lanes in each direction between the Bolte Bridge and the Tullamarine Freeway just north of English Street, Essendon Fields as well as extra lanes on the Bolte Bridge and a section of the West Gate Freeway (eastbound) between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street.
Treasurer Michael O’Brien said that this project was another example of the Coalition Government partnering with the private sector to deliver job creating infrastructure projects.
“This $850 million project is being delivered under the Unsolicited Proposal Guideline introduced by the Coalition Government in February 2014,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Coalition Government will continue to work with the private sector to deliver major infrastructure, which will build a better Victoria.”
Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said the congestion busting project was one of many transport improvements to boost the performance and safety of Victoria’s roads. “Changing the way Victoria moves will grow the economy, improve efficiency, create jobs and better link people, products and markets,” Mr Mulder said.
The project will also include the introduction of new managed motorway features including:
- lane use management – including speed signs above all lanes;
- ramp metering – stop and go signals to improve flow and reduce congestion as traffic enters the freeway from on-ramps;
- CCTV cameras – to monitor for incidents and help response times; and
- variable message signs – to notify road users of planned changes or disruptions.
Construction of the additional lanes is due to commence in the first half of 2015 and take approximately two years to complete.
To fund the project, the CityLink Concession will be extended by one year, toll price increases will remain at a minimum of 4.5% (annually) for an additional year and truck tolls will increase to become consistent with national pricing for trucks on other motorway networks. Post construction, tolls will be adjusted to their normal levels over a two year period.
Disruptions during construction will be minimised with the majority of the work planned to take place outside the normal travel peak periods during the day.
In addition to this $850 million project, the Government is in discussions with the Commonwealth to complete the widening of the Tullamarine Freeway to the Melbourne Airport. This further expansion would add an extra lane in each direction from Melrose Drive to Melbourne Airport at a cost of approximately $250 million.
News Release Premier of Victoria Denis Napthine, 28 April 2014