MELBOURNE’S West Gate Tunnel Project has announced the heavy vehicle detour requirements, which Container Transport Alliance Australia calls a “significant win” for the container logistics road freight sector.
The project is to link, via tunnel underneath Yarraville, the West Gate Freeway with the Port of Melbourne and CityLink at Docklands.
The heavy vehicle detour requirements are to facilitate works that are scheduled to run from 6 October through 2 December.
Vehicles weighing 68.5 to 85.5 tonnes will be allowed to use the Bolte Bridge temporarily with lane restrictions.
For vehicles weighing 85.5 to 117 tonnes, various other restrictions apply. Included in this super b-doubles will only be able to use Bolte Bridge between 2230 pm to 0430 Monday to Thursday, and 2330pm to 0430 Friday to Sunday.
CTAA director Neil Chambers said industry didn’t get everything they would have hoped for.
“Restricting the use of the detour for Super B-doubles above 85.5 tonnes to a limited amount of night operating hours (and no daytime access) will impact on operators of those combinations which are generally carrying heavy export and import containers to/from Webb Dock,” Mr Chambers said.
“The reason for the time restriction is that Transurban will need to establish traffic management measures every night to direct HPFVs into the Heavy Load Platform (HLP) lanes of the Bolte Bridge (second lane from the outside) and then safely direct them back over to the far-left lane to exit towards Lorimer Street (southbound) and Footscray Road (northbound). Otherwise, there are safety concerns with HPFVs manoeuvring between lanes and the heightened risk of accidents with other vehicles.”
Mr Chambers said unfortunately, HPFV operators between 85.5 tonnes to 117 tonnes GVM will need to modify their transport schedules to keep gross weights under 85.5 tonnes (thereby being able to have unrestricted access) or to schedule their transport operations at the higher gross weights during the night-time access hours.
“Transurban has agreed with CTAA to monitor the access closely, and if there is good compliance, then they have undertaken to review the conditions of access,” Mr Chambers said.
“Transurban (and the Department of Transport & Planning) will have access to cameras and weight detection devices and will be monitoring compliance. This surveillance will be particularly acute to monitor compliance with the severely reduced weight limit of 44 tonnes on the Graham Street M1 overpass.
“Thankfully, the HPFV detour across the Bolte Bridge completely avoids the need for access across the Graham Street Bridge.”