The Andrews Labor Government’s 2016/17 Victorian Budget will provide the full funding required to build the Western Distributor Project – a second river crossing that will take thousands of trucks out of inner-west streets.

The Western Distributor will deliver immediate travel time savings of up to 20 minutes a day, take 6,000 trucks off the West Gate Bridge, and create 5,600 new jobs.

The Western Distributor will also widen the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 and Williamstown Road and complete the Federation Trail with 4.5km of new cycling and pedestrian paths.

It will take 6,000 rat-running trucks off local streets in the inner west and improve links to the Port of Melbourne, Webb Dock and the inner north.

Direct connections to CityLink and to the north and south of the CBD will give people in the West more travel choices to get to work.

The Government also today released the project design options for community consultation. The designs include two options for connecting the West Gate Freeway to the Western Distributor Tunnel – either directly within the road reserve, or via ramps to a portal in adjacent land.

To get dangerous goods trucks – which can’t travel in a tunnel – off residential streets, the designs include five ramp options to connect the West Gate Freeway directly to Hyde Street.

The Western Distributor will also link to the city and the surrounding road network with connections to CityLink, Footscray Road, Dynon Road and an extended Wurundjeri Way.

Residents will be able to have their say on the design options through an extensive community consultation process, including community information sessions beginning on 16 April and online engagement starting today at www.westerndistributorproject.vic.gov.au.

The designs will continue to be refined as planning progresses and in light of community and other feedback.

Construction is due to commence in 2018 with completion by 2022.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer of Victoria and Member for Werribee, Tim Pallas

“We’re providing certainty to residents in the West – we will build a second river crossing, remove trucks from inner west streets and slash travel times.”

“The West can’t wait any longer for the Turnbull Government to wake up and get on board building the projects that help our growing community.”

“Community information sessions start this weekend and we want to hear from as many residents as possible. We want to understand what’s important to you so we can get the design right.”