The East West Link has been designed to provide reduced travelling time, economic, business, employment and community benefits for Melbourne and Victoria. It will finally join the major metropolitan freeways to the east, west and north and provide a much needed alternative to the (M1) Monash-West Gate freeways, including the West Gate Bridge.

The obvious advantage on the link is for travel across the city, where currently, around 200,000 vehicles travel the northern part of the city daily. Traffic modelling has found that around 80,000 to 100,000 vehicles would use the eastern section of the East West Link each day, even before completion of the western section. 

This traffic modelling also shows that nearly half the traffic coming from the Eastern Freeway would enter the East West Link tunnel while the other half would continue to use existing routes. By 2031, there will be 440,000 people travelling east-west across the Maribyrnong River by road (a 38 per cent increase) and 165,000 by rail (almost 100 per cent increase).

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Where is it? 

8 kilometre cross-city road connection extending across Melbourne from the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road.

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Underground Tunnels?

East West Link features 4.4 kilometre three lane twin road tunnels between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink, passing under Alexandra Parade, Princes Street, the Melbourne General Cemetery, Princes Park and Royal Park. Tunnel Boring Machines simultaneously excavate and line the tunnels underground, while removing dirt and rocks (spoil) from the tunnelling area. It is expected to take approximately 20 months to manufacture, ship and assemble the TBMs. 

When will it be ready?

Construction is expected to commence by the end of the year with the project due to open in 2019. The full East West Link significantly improves the connectivity between Melbourne’s established east and rapidly growing west, joining the Eastern Freeway at Hoddle Street with the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West.

information obtained from http://www.linkingmelbourne.vic.gov.au/

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