East West Link second stage to ease congestion

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Maribyrnong Leader: East West Link second stage to ease congestion. Bridie Byrne. 6 May 2014

THE long-awaited second stage of the East West Link is a game changer for the west that will ease congestion and get trucks off suburban streets, lobby groups say.

The Federal Government will spend $1.5 billion on the 12km roadway, which will connect CityLink to the Western Ring Rd and provide another Maribyrnong River crossing to take pressure off the West Gate Bridge.

Work on the west section will begin next year and is planned to be finished by 2023. Community advocates have been crying out for the $10 billion project since it was first touted in 2008 as a way to help address Melbourne’s “significant East West divide”.

LeadWest chief executive Craig Rowley said the link was critical infrastructure that would support the growing freight industry, increase productivity and reduce gridlock on the roads.

“The link can improve livability by providing for efficient freeway movement of trucks, reducing traffic congestion and taking heavy vehicles off local roads in the inner-west, particularly Somerville Rd, Francis St, Barkly St, Moore St and Buckley St,” he said.

Mr Rowley said it would also lead to job and business growth and serve as a catalyst for revitalising industrial precincts in Brooklyn, Tottenham and Laverton.

Mayor Grant Miles said that while he supported the project, curfews needed to be expanded to make trucks use the new road.

The project, which will include viaducts, bridges, tunnels and land acquisitions, is expected to create 3000 jobs during its construction.

Premier Denis Napthine said it would save motorists up to 20 minutes’ travel time when driving to the city from Geelong, Werribee, Altona­ and Laverton.

BY THE NUMBERS:

■ The Federal Government will spend $1.5 billion on the 12km roadway

■ The western link is expected to cost $10 billion

■ Connects CityLink to the Western Ring Rd

■ Will provide another Maribyrnong River crossing to take pressure off the West Gate Bridge

■ Will include viaducts, bridges, tunnels and land acquisitions

■ Work will begin next year and is planned to be finished by 2023

■ Will create 3000 jobs

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