Western Distributor

Visit the new Western Distributor Project website for the latest project updates

The Victorian Government is partnering with Transurban to build the $5.5 billion Western Distributor Project, which includes the Monash Freeway Upgrade and upgrades to Webb Dock.

The project will create 5,600 new jobs, provide a much-needed alternative to the West Gate Bridge, remove thousands of trucks from local streets, and deliver an $11 billion boost to Victoria's economy.

The Western Distributor will deliver immediate time savings of up to 20 minutes a day, and significantly improve the way people and freight move around Melbourne.

This project will put an end to trucks rat-running through inner west streets to get to the Port, with existing truck curfews on local roads to be extended once construction is completed.

Key features include:

  • Widening the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes between the M80 and Williamstown Road
  • A tunnel under Yarraville and a second river crossing over the Maribyrnong
  • An elevated road along Footscray Road with direct links to CityLink, the Port of Melbourne and the western edge of the CBD
  • The longest managed motorway system in Australia from Geelong to Pakenham
  • 4.5km of new cycling and pedestrian paths including completion of the Federation Trail
  • Widening the Monash Freeway from 8 to 10 lanes between EastLink and South Gippsland Highway, and from 4 to 6 lanes to Clyde Road in Berwick

Video transcript Western Distributor Project – a summary (DOCX 15.49 KB)DOCX icon

The Western Distributor business case, project maps and more detailed information about the project is available on the Western Distributor publications page.


The Western Distributor and the Monash Freeway Upgrade will bring many benefits by linking existing freeways, relieving key bottlenecks and taking trucks out of the inner west, and improving connections to the Port of Melbourne.

Key benefits include:

  • An alternative to the West Gate Bridge with a second river crossing
  • Daily peak time travel times from the west slashed by up to 20 minutes and up to 10 minutes from the south east
  • 5,600 new jobs created at the peak of construction
  • Up to 75% of trucks off  Francis Street and Somerville Road
  • 6,000 fewer trucks on the West Gate Bridge
  • 6,000 fewer trucks on local streets in the inner west
  • Completion of the Federation Trail for cyclists
  • $35 million a year savings for truck operators
  • Up to 50% time savings for trucks to the Port of Melbourne
  • $11 billion boost to the Victorian economy
  • Up to 55 fewer serious crashes a year
  • Extension of smart technology to extend Australia's largest managed freeway network
  • Improved access to the city
  • 2.3 million tonnes less vehicle emissions.

Project background

The Victorian Government received a market-led proposal for the Western Distributor from Transurban, operator of CityLink, in March 2015.

The Government has assessed the proposal and prepared a business case that shows the project stacks up, delivering an $11 billion boost to Victoria's economy, and a conservative benefit cost ratio of 1.3.

Project status

The Victorian Government is progressing the project through exclusive negotiations with Transurban as part of Stage 4 of the State's Market-led Proposals Guideline.

The Government reference business case has been submitted to the Commonwealth Government and Infrastructure Australia for assessment and funding consideration. 

The final scope and design will be confirmed in consultation with the community, local government and industry during a comprehensive planning process involving preparation of an Environment Effects Statement (EES) and its exhibition for public comment.

The EES will provide a thorough and transparent process through which the project's potential social, economic and environmental impacts and their proposed measures can be rigorously assessed.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has convened a Technical Reference Group with representatives from relevant authorities to provide guidance and assistance for the preparation of the EES.

The EES will also be guided by consultation with local residents, councils and industry. This will continue on from community engagement by Transurban and the Government to date.

Community consultation on the project's concept design was carried out in April and May where local residents were given the opportunity to talk to the project team and have their say, at seven community information sessions and online, on the length and location of the two tunnel entrances, and how the Western Distributor connects to Hyde Street, CityLink and the western edge of the CBD.

The feedback from this round of consultation will be used to continue to refine the design ahead of Request for Tender

Three consortia have been shortlisted to tender for the design and construction of the Western Distributor.

The reference design and any innovative solutions from the tenderers will be assessed, and people will be given further opportunities to have their say,  through the EES which will be on public exhibition in early 2017.There is more information on the project website about the latest updates and how you can find out more or get involved  www.westerndistributorproject.vic.gov.au.

The project will be delivered in three distinct parts:

  • Monash Freeway Upgrade - Construction will start to widen the freeway in September 2016 and completed, in 2018
  • Webb Dock Access- Work has  started on a new link to provide direct truck access from Webb Dock to CityLink, with completion in early 2018
  • Western Distributor – Three consortia have been shortlisted to design and construct the Western Distributor. The contract will be signed by late 2017 with construction to start soon after. The full project to be completed by 2022.

The project has funding certainty through a combination of tolling on the Western Distributor, an extension to Transurban's CityLink concession and State Government funding.

Contact us

For more information about the project please contact:

Email: western.distributor@ecodev.vic.gov.au
Telephone: 1800 817 687
Street Address: 1 Spring Street Melbourne VIC 3000

interpreterFor languages other than English, please call 1800 817 687.

Page last reviewed on 23 June 2016

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