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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

River crossing could mean more cars

29 Oct 2015

River crossing could mean more cars Image

Plans for a new river crossing could mean thousands more cars on Docklands’ roads.

Toll road operator Transurban’s Western Distributor proposal to the State Government would see an elevated road cross the Maribyrnong River and run above Footscray Rd.

According to the most recent design update, released in September, the road would end on Footscray Rd, around the point of Costco.

But exactly how the new road would connect with existing Docklands roads is not yet clear.

“The proposal includes freeway-to-freeway connection to CityLink and city connectivity options are still being explored, including improvements to Footscray Rd,” a Transurban spokesperson said.

It’s understood the formal approval process for the project would include the completion of detailed traffic assessments.

The Western Distributor proposal also includes plans for two additional lanes in each direction on the West Gate Freeway, between the M80 Ring Road and Williamstown Road, and a tunnel under Yarraville. It will cost at least $5 billion and, if approved by the State Government, Transurban would fund the majority of the cost.

Greens Melbourne MLA Ellen Sandell was critical of the proposal and the extra traffic it was likely to bring into Docklands and the CBD.

“The current proposal for this tunnel means thousands more cars will be funnelled into the Docklands and CBD, increasing grid lock in the city,” Ms Sandell said.

“All around the world cities are doing their best to get people onto public transport and stop too many cars clogging up their CBD. This proposal does the exact opposite, meaning more traffic, more congestion, more pollution and a less liveable city.”

According to the Transurban spokesperson, the Western Distributor proposal was developed to address long-standing traffic issues in the inner west and along the congested West Gate corridor.

The spokesperson said community information sessions and pop-up stands had been held in both Docklands and West Melbourne.

“The proposal is still in the early stages of development and there will continue to be more opportunities for local residents to be involved, including through a formal planning and approvals process,” the spokesperson said.

The State Government is currently considering the proposal and Transurban says it understands the Government expects to make a decision on whether to proceed to the next stage of assessment by the end of the year.

 

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