Drill sites give clue to future path of road tunnel

From The Age

IS THIS the path the controversial east-west road tunnel will cut through the inner city?

In an application to Melbourne City Council the Baillieu government is requesting approval for 13 test drilling sites in Royal Park and surrounding suburbs to plan for the multibillion-dollar project.

In an indication of its preferred route for the tunnel, maps show the drill sites run in a direct line from Alexandra Parade under the Melbourne Cemetery and Royal Park.

At the back of the indicative route the drill sites split, suggesting locations for inbound and outbound connections to CityLink in Royal Park and nearby neighbourhoods.

The application for ”preliminary geotechnical drilling” is part of a $15 million business case being prepared for the 18-kilometre tunnel, which tops the Baillieu government’s infrastructure wish-list.

The government says the project will ease traffic congestion on Melbourne’s roads and create an alternative cross-city route for cars and trucks. Since it was first proposed under the previous state government the tunnel has faced heated local opposition over tolls and concerns over its impact on the inner city and parkland.

The project received a boost earlier this month when Opposition Leader Tony Abbott committed $1.5 billion to help build it. It has been reported federal Labor could also commit funding later this year. Continue reading

Wells plans to fix projects dilemma

From the Age 27 Jun 2011 –¬†http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/wells-plans-to-fix-projects-dilemma-20110626-1gltm.html

A TUNNEL from the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine Freeway will be considered by the Baillieu government as part of an infrastructure plan ordered by Treasurer Kim Wells, following widespread criticism that Victoria is not planning major projects.

Mr Wells has ordered his department to urgently get to work on an infrastructure plan for Victoria after being warned the state is at risk of losing billions of dollars of investment and thousands of skilled workers to New South Wales and Queensland.

The Age¬†believes the government will reconsider a range of transport projects flagged by the previous government, including an east-west road tunnel from the Eastern Freeway to the Tullamarine Freeway, a metro rail tunnel from Footscray to St Kilda Road, and a ”missing link” connection between the Metropolitan Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway. Continue reading