Congestion across the Melbourne road network is now estimated to cost our economy $4.6 billion a year and could rise to $10 billion a year by 2030 as our population grows and freight volumes increase.
In partnership with government, we are working to invest billions of dollars into the road network to help provide more consistent travel times and safer, more reliable journeys.
Works are significantly progressing on the $1.3 billion CityLink Tulla Widening project to add more lanes between Melbourne Airport and the Burnley Tunnel. When completed in 2018, the project will deliver travel time savings of up to 30 minutes for a return trip along the corridor and help reduce casualty crashes by one fifth too.
In the south-east, we are teaming up with VicRoads to deliver the Monash Freeway Upgrade project, help ease congestion between Chadstone and Pakenham. Construction of this upgrade, which will add around 30 kilometres of extra traffic lanes, started last September and is also expected to be finished next year.
Additionally, we are progressing the planning of the new $5.5 billion West Gate Tunnel Project. The West Gate Tunnel Project will provide a much needed alternative to the West Gate Bridge. It will feature a second river crossing via a new tunnel and an elevated motorway with connections to CityLink, the city north and the Port of Melbourne.
Many motorists have experienced the travel delays one incident on the West Gate can create across the whole network, including on CityLink. Building the West Gate Tunnel Project will help provide more options for motorists, including when there are incidents along the West Gate corridor.
The new motorway will be one of the largest additions and expansions made to Melbourne’s road network in recent years. An Environment Effects Statement is due to be released for this project in the middle of this year.
In addition to building more lanes and new roads, we know technology is increasingly important in addressing congestion. That’s why we are installing hi-tech features across the network and helping to establish Melbourne as one of the world’s leading users of advanced freeway management technology.
Things like overhead lane use signs, ‘stop and go’ signals on motorway entry ramps, advanced roadside cameras that automatically detect incidents and electronic message boards are being increasingly rolled out. Together, this technology can boost traffic flow, better manage on-road incidents and let motorists know what’s happening ahead of them so they can decide the best way to get to their destination.
To better manage incidents when they do arise, we have also recently launched a new fleet of rapid-response vehicles to minimise delays and keep you moving.
And we are preparing for the future to arrive on our roads too, with a pilot program kicking off now to look at how next-gen automated vehicles will interact with CityLink. With industry experts saying fully driverless cars could be on the market in the next five to 10 years, we want to make sure our infrastructure is ready to meet this demand.
So there are lots of plans and initiatives underway to help you on your journey. To stay up to date with the latest news, visit our Connected Cities site.