Geotechnical drilling underway for western section of East West Link

Media Release

JB094/2014

11 September 2014

Joint release with:

Hon. Denis Napthine MP

Premier of Victoria

Hon. Terry Mulder MP

Victorian Minister for Roads

The Australian and Victorian Governments today announced the start of geotechnical drilling works for the western section of the East West Link, which will inform construction of the $8–10 billion connection from CityLink to the Western Ring Road.

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs, Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine and Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder were on site to inspect the works at the Western Ring Road in Sunshine.

Mr Briggs said the East West Link project will transform Victoria's transport network and drive economic growth throughout Melbourne.

“Today is an important milestone for the delivery of East West Link, which will create thousands of new jobs during construction, slash travel times for motorists and bust congestion which is costing the economy billions,” Mr Briggs said.

“With 200,000 vehicles using the West Gate Bridge every day, it's vital we get on with building a second river crossing so commuters spend less time stuck in traffic and more time being productive at work and at home with their families.

“That is why the Australian Government is providing $3 billion towards both stages of the project to ensure we fast-track economic growth and unlock the productive capacity of Melbourne's road network”.

Dr Napthine said that the eastern and western sections of East West Link will together provide a genuine alternative to the congested Monash-West Gate corridor and deliver substantial travel time savings for motorists.

“The start of geotechnical drilling on the western section is an important step towards building the full 18km East West Link,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Victorian Government is serious about putting the right transport links in place to support this unprecedented growth and retain Melbourne's position as one of the world's most vibrant and prosperous cities.

“The Western Ring Road is one of Melbourne's busiest freeways and it is important the design allows for safe and efficient merging and exiting traffic movements”.

Mr Mulder said East West Link will not only provide an alternative to the clogged M1, but would provide relief for communities in the inner-west by moving trucks onto a freeway-standard road and out of their streets,” Mr Mulder said.

“We know that more than half the trucks using local streets in suburbs like Yarraville and Footscray aren't making local trips but are instead using roads where people live to get across the city.

“With East West Link, these trucks routes through the inner west can be moved onto a dedicated thoroughfare and away from people's homes.”

Mr Mulder said “the current investigations would provide a better understanding of ground conditions, which will inform consideration of route options for discussion with the community as the project is developed.”

“As the western section moves into the detailed development and planning phase, the community will see further geotechnical investigations occurring along the broad corridor. The exact locations will be identified by the technical advisory team when they come on board in the coming months,” said Dr Napthine.

The western section of the East West Link will complete the link between the Eastern Freeway and the Western Ring Road, providing an alternative to the Monash-West Gate Corridor for east-west travel and cutting 15–20 minutes in travel time when commuting from Geelong, Werribee, Altona and Laverton to the city and other key destinations.

For more information about the East West Link—western section visit: www.dtpli.vic.gov.au.