This significant milestone marks the start of piling works for the bridge supports and is expected to continue for the next twelve months using multiple rigs. Piling is required to construct the foundations for the piers that will support the bridges over the Maribyrnong River, along Footscray Road and the numerous city connections. Piles will be constructed using a combination of methods including marine driven piling, driven piling, and sheet piling.
Once completed, the West Gate Tunnel will include:
- Widening the West Gate Freeway from 8 to 12 lanes and adding express lanes between the M80 and the West Gate Bridge, reducing weaving and merging that leads to traffic congestion;
- A tunnel from the West Gate Freeway to the Maribyrnong River which will take motorists and trucks underground and off residential streets, providing a more efficient freight route to the Port of Melbourne;
- A bridge over the Maribyrnong River, linking to an elevated road along Footscray Road, providing more options for pedestrians travelling to the CBD north; and
- State-of-the-art smart technology across the length of the project linking it to other freeway management systems across the city.
Although there will ultimately be over 4,500 piles in the East zone, the first one is always special.