Longer Yarraville tunnel option selected

12 July 2016

AUSTRALIA - The reference design for Melbourne’s second river crossing was released on 10 July. The design opted for the longer of two tunnel proposals, a 1.6km twin tunnel at 15.5m diameter. Public opinion against the destruction of surface green space in the Yaraville neighbourhood prompted the decision.

The tender process has begun and impact assessments will soon get underway. Studies will be available to view in early 2017. The construction contract should be awarded in late 2017 with construction to start soon after. Construction is expected to complete in 2022.

Three consortia have been shortlisted to bid for the project: John Holland and CPB Contractors; Lend Lease Engineering and Bouygues Construction; Salini Impreglio, Fluor Australia and Lane Worldwide Infrastructure.

The contractors will prepare fully costed designs for the Western Distributor, which includes the widening of the West Gate Freeway, a tunnel under Yarraville, a second river crossing, and connections to the port, CityLink and the city. The entire project will cost AUD 5.5bn (USD 4.2bn).