Tunnel Plans

2013 update

Please note the information on this page details YCATs 2008 campaign relating to Sir Rod Eddingtons Investing in Transport report.

For regular updates on YCATs 2013 campaign related to the  Baillieu  Napthine government’s proposed East West road link, please refer to;


Surface Routes and Tunnel Collingwood to North Fitzroy

For a high resolution image click this link to download (1.5 Mbytes)

Also refer to:


These plans were drawn by The 3068 Group and are based on the technical reports and the final report of the Eddington Study (EWLNA). In the City of Yarra, there will be:

Tunnel entrances ramps at:

  • Eastern Freeway, between the Yarra and Hoddle Street (two lanes); and
  • Alexandra Parade (one lane), between Brunswick St and George Street (beside the Fitzroy Pool).

Tunnel exit ramps at:

  • Eastern Freeway, between the Yarra and Hoddle Street (two lanes);
  • Alexandra Parade (one lane), east of Queens Parade;
  • Queens Parade (near Alexandra Parade).

The ramps are shown in deep red and will be 150m to 300m long.


Westbound Surface Routes:

Pink: From Hoddle Street to Ports, West, CityLink and Airport via tunnel (new).

Pink: From Queens Parade to Ports and West via tunnel (new).

Blue: From Eastern Freeway to City via Alexandra Pde, Nicholson, Rathdowne, Lygon, Swanston St (existing).

Blue: From Queens Parade to City via Alexandra Pde, Nicholson, Rathdowne, Lygon, Swanston St (existing).

Yellow Dots: Main tunnel entrance ramp from Eastern Freeway going to Ports, West, CityLink and Airport via new two lane tunnel entrance at Hoddle St. Note: These tunnel entrances could be further east than shown.

Eastbound Surface Routes:

Orange: From City to Queens Parade (existing).

Orange: From City to Eastern Freeway via Alexandra Parade (existing).

Red: From Ports, Western Ring Road and City Link to Queens Parade, Heidelberg Road and High St (new).

Red: From Ports, Western Ring Road and City Link to Hoddle, Smith and Wellington St via Alexandra Parade (new).

Yellow Dots: Tunnel from Ports, Western Ring Road and City Link to Eastern Freeway via new tunnel exit at Hoddle St. Note: Two lanes are proposed in the plan, the exit could be further east than shown


The Eddington study recommended tunnel openings at Queens Parade, as well as at the end of the Eastern freeway.

Tunnel Openings at Queens Parade and Alexandra Parade will ensure that these boulevards will be even more congested with surface traffic than the tunnels underneath. The tunnel will not reduce city bound traffic at the surface.

There will be a large increase in traffic on Queens Parade, and a higher proportion of trucks and freight from the ports, and the western ring road.

There will be no opportunity for remediation of Alexandra Parade or Princes Street, as these roads will continue to carry the same or more traffic than today.

The tunnel does not require any city exits because Alexandra Parade provides 3 lanes of city exits and Hoddle Street provides 4 more lanes of city exits, so additional tunnel exits to the city are not required.

Exhaust Stacks:

The exact location of the stacks is not known. The consultants reported 4-6 ventilation stacks are required, spaced every 2-3kms.

The photo of the red CityLink exhaust tower in the diagram was taken on the day of a crash and fire in CityLink. Normally you don’t see the pollution as black smoke pumped out of the stack.

Direct Residential Impacts

The EWLNA technical reports admitted to 15 residences in Yarra that would require require noise treatment, but did not identify them.

If the Hoddle St tunnel entrance cannot be kept to 1 lane then houses around Bendigo St are at risk. It is common to have two entrance lanes as is the case for the Springvale Rd entrance to the Eastern Freeway.

Evidence for Plans

From East West Needs Study – Engineering Design and Costing Report

The route commences in a tunnel at Eastern Freeway to the east of Hoddle Street and then follows the alignment of Alexandra Parade to Royal Parade, passing to the north of Elliott Avenue at Flemington Road and then heading south to Dynon Road.

It then passes along Dynon Road to the west and then along Geelong Road / Princes Highway and finishes in Princes Highway in the vicinity of Old Geelong Road to the north east of the Western Ring Road interchange with West Gate Freeway. The road would consist of twin 2 lane tunnels with 2 lane entry / exits at each end.

For the concept design, the grade was generally set to provide approximately a nine metre clearance to the surface road along Alexandra Parade and elsewhere in order to mitigate surface disturbance during tunnelling, whilst the same time minimising access ramp lengths.
Following initial assessment of desire lines, the proposed connections were:

    • 2 lane entry / exits at the Eastern Freeway portals
    • Single lane entry and exits within Alexandra Parade to the east of Queens Parade, to allow easterly movements to and from Nicholson St.• Westerly orientated ramp connections to the south in Lygon Street (northbound) and Rathdowne Street (southbound) to complement easterly connections at Nicholson Street and Royal Parade
    • Single lane entry and exit to the east of Royal Parade to allow easterly movements to and from Royal Parade.

• At City Link, extensive tunnels and structure are required to provide easterly connections to City Link.
• Westerly orientated connections are provided in Dynon Rd

• The existing CityLink / Dynon Rd interchange would be upgraded to provide full movements through the provision of additional southerly ramps.
• Easterly orientated ramps at Somerville Rd

• Tunnel portals located centrally within Princes Highway in the vicinity of Grieve Parade.
• At Western Ring Road Interchange, additional ramps are required to connect Princes Hwy to Western Ring Road.

Stage 1 – this option endeavours to ensure that all current movements are unhindered. The grading is critical at Hoddle Street due to level controls over Merri Creek, beneath the existing railway and Hoddle Street piers and above the main drain in Alexandra Parade. The exit at CityLink is to the north of Elliott Ave to allow for at grade staging. Some road widening is envisaged to allow for free flow movements at Flemington Rd intersection.

This section of work will impact on the current road system in the vicinity of the 300m long portal slots at all locations and will concentrate traffic on the arterial road system at the ramp locations. A number of options were investigated for providing access to the tunnel for CBD traffic via Nicholson Street. However, this was difficult to achieve due to existing frontage properties, tram routes and the length of slot which would be required within Nicholson Street for any entry and exit ramps.

Click here for Tunnel Plans at Royal Park

Earlier Tunnel Plans

The Kennett Government’s earlier tunnel plan had all the portals west of Hoddle Street.

One thought on “Tunnel Plans”

  1. chrisg says:

    City of Yarra officers met with the Eddington Study Team (18/6/08) and confirmed the following:

    “1. that the Eddington study proposes certain outcomes but that much greater testing / validation is required should the State Government
    wish to proceed with the recommendations – we are advised that only preliminary feasibility has been undertaken and any proposal would require a more detailed analysis and development
    2. that 3 lanes of traffic off the Eastern freeway would go under Hoddle Street into a tunnel – the entrance to the tunnel would start
    some way east of Hoddle Street for gradient reasons. We were advised that the exact location has not been determined at this time
    3. that the existing left turn lane into Alexandra Parade from Hoddle Street (heading north) would effectively continue and that would then also lead to a portal into the tunnel
    4. that no exit is recommended to the CAD heading west from any tunnel
    5. that an exit from a tunnel would be likely in Queens Parade heading east
    6. that a ventilation facility would be required near the end of the tunnel – further clarification on this is being sought on the frequency of these along the path of any tunnel
    7. that no flyover is proposed in the vicinity of the Gas and Fuel site
    8. that it is not particularly clear how traffic heading west along Queens Parade would enter the tunnel – that may be via George Street but also it may need to be a road connection further to the east to enable the necessary radii of a road connection to go into a portal to the tunnel – it was mentioned that no overpasses are proposed
    9. that if the proposal were to proceed then it is likely to be a cut / dig and cover approach for the area between Hoddle Street heading west for some distance and then a tunneling exercise

    It is very clear that any proposals such as the above would involve a very major construction process – this would impact for some period in many respects but that impact is not clear at this point in time.

    Further, the urban design aspects would involve many changes to the area as it is currently known and whilst some capture of road space for buses etc on Alexandra Parade and for greening purposes etc is proposed, it is again unclear at this stage what the visualisation of these works would be like.

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