Federal Government agrees to kick in $1.5b towards the East West Link project

Herald Sun: Federal Government agrees to kick in $1.5b towards the East West Link project. James Campbell and Ellen Whinnett. 28 April 2014

The 12km tollway, connecting CityLink to the Western Ring Road, is expected to create 3000 jobs. Source: News Limited

Work on the city-transforming second stage of East West link will begin next year after the Federal Government agreed to kick in $1.5 billion towards the $8 — $10 billion project.

The 12km tollway, connecting CityLink to the Western Ring Road, will be announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Premier Denis Napthine and is planned to be finished by 2023.

When finished, the western section of East West Link will complete the cross-city connection between the Eastern Freeway and Sunshine providing a second river crossing taking pressure off the Westgate Bridge and the Monash.

The project, which will include tunnelling in areas yet to be determined, is expected to create 3000 jobs during its construction.

Premier Denis Napthine said the second stage said the project was “a massive win for Victoria.”

“East West Link will provide a huge boost to our current road network and it will take traffic off the West Gate Bridge, CityLink and the Monash,” he said.

Prime Minister Abbott said he was pleased to confirm the Commonwealth Government would contribute $1.5 billion to the second stage of the project in addition to the $1.5 billion already promised towards Stage One.

“Melbourne is an economic powerhouse but it needs the infrastructure of the 21st century to continue to grow,” he said.

“Congestion is an increasing problem for Melbourne, which means more time spent in traffic gridlock and less time with the family or being productive.”

Mr Abbott said the 3000 jobs created by the project were in addition to the 3,200 jobs that will be created during the building of stage one.

When finished the Western section of East West Link will take up to 100,000 vehicles per day and cut between 15 and 20 minutes off trips from Geelong to the City.

The time taken on trips from to the City from Ballarat, Melton and Caroline Springs will be cut by between 10 and 15 minutes.

The announcement comes days after the final bids were received from the three short-listed consortia bidding to build stage one with contracts due to be signed later this year.

Stage one of East West Link is planned to be finished by 2019.

The latest announcement is one a series of large transport announcements in the past few weeks.

In addition to a planned upgrade to the Dandenong rail corridor and a rail to the airport, the Government on Sunday announced a $200 project to remove the level crossing at Main Rd, St Albans.

The announcement also comes after the Government announced it had reached agreement to widen CityLink as part of the East West project.


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