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Melbourne’s new road: Labor commits to Western Distributor

Click play for the government’s PR video

The Andrews government has announced the business case for a new road in Melbourne’s west.

The $5.5 billion Western Distributor toll road will be built by the government and Transurban, who put forward the plan as an unsolicited proposal.

The road is primarily designed to divert traffic – particularly northern-bound trucks – off the West Gate Bridge.

Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas told 3AW Drive there were still aspects to work through, but assured Victorians the botched East-West Link saga wouldn’t be repeated.

‘We’re not presenting the community with a fait accompli,’ he told Tom Elliott.

‘We’re not going to have bodgied-up business cases, augmented by side letters.

‘We’re essentially going to put the business case into the public domain.’

Click PLAY to hear Tim Pallas explain more on 3AW Drive.

Mr Andrews says the Western Distributor will deliver immediate travel time savings of up to 20 minutes a day, take 6,000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge, and create 5,600 new jobs.

Cars will be slugged roughly $3 a trip to travel along the road under the project.

The plan:

  • Widen the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 and Williamstown Road
  • Build a tunnel under Yarraville and a second river crossing over the Maribyrnong
  • Construct an elevated road along Footscray Road with direct links to the Port of Melbourne
  • Create the longest managed motorway system in Australia from Geelong to Pakenham
  • Build 4.5km of new cycling and pedestrian paths including completion of the Federation Trail

Click play to hear Tom Elliott’s cross to political reporter Lauren Hilbert