Local residents have helped shape the official reference design of the Western Distributor Project, with feedback directly incorporated into the design which has been released to tenderers.
The Andrews Labor Government July 10 released the reference design for Melbourne’s second river crossing that will provide a vital alternative to the West Gate Bridge and take thousands of trucks off local streets.
The design includes the long tunnel option with the twin road tunnels beginning within a widened West Gate Freeway.
Under the reference design, local parkland will be protected to minimize any loss of open space to the community, with tenderers required to submit a tunnel design that has no permanent impact to Hyde Street Reserve.
The design of the Hyde Street ramps also responds directly to community feedback, ensuring that there will be minimal impact to nearby residents and community facilities.
The design’s ramps are immediately to the north and south, level to or lower than, and as close as possible to each side of the existing West Gate Freeway, with no flyovers – all key community preferences.
The reference design and the Request for Tender have been provided to three shortlisted construction consortia who will use it to develop their more detailed and costed designs.
Tenderers are encouraged to propose innovative construction methods and use their expertise to improve the reference design. To better reflect the communities’ views in the design, tenderers have also been given reports on the feedback from consultation undertaken so far.
Impact assessments for the Environment Effects Statement (EES) will now get underway and will consider the reference design, and any variations proposed by the tenderers.
Throughout the coming months, community information hubs and pop-ups will be held, and feedback will be provided to tenderers and specialists completing the impact assessments to further inform planning and design.
The contract to build the Western Distributor will be awarded in late 2017 with construction to start soon after.
“We’re building Melbourne’s long-overdue Second River Crossing – a true alternative to the West Gate Bridge that will slash congestion so Victorians can spend less time stuck in traffic on the M1 ,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. “The Western Distributor will create 5,600 jobs, fully funded as part of our historic investment in transport infrastructure. The time for talk is over – we are getting these projects done.”
“We’ve listened to the local community and we’ve worked to ensure their views are reflected in the reference design of the project,” Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan said. “We will continue to talk with the local community throughout the next phase of the design process and the Environmental Effects Statement to ensure the project reflects their needs.”