Vic tunnel expected to open later in 2023

The company spearheading the construction of Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel says the project is now expected to be completed one year later than planned.

The $6.7 billion tunnel, which will be an alternative to the city’s heavily congested West Gate Bridge, was meant to be finished in 2022.

But in a briefing to investors on Monday, tolling giant Transurban said 2023 was the expected end date and that tunnelling works can’t start until there is “resolution on a range of matters”.

That includes confirmation of the the disposal site for contaminated waste, preparatory works, gaining relevant approvals and resolving commercial matters.

Transurban said it’s committed to working with the Victorian government and its building subcontractors to “resolve the tunnelling issues”.

“Proposed disposal sites are working through requirements to gain necessary planning and environmental approvals,” a presentation to investors reads.

“Progress continues on site with over 15 million working hours on the project.”

Joint-venture builders CPB Contractors and John Holland earlier told Transurban they didn’t believe the project could be completed by 2022.

But Transurban said in February it believed a 2022 finish was possible, while the state government said it expected its contract to be honoured.

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