Bolte Bridge and West Gate Freeway improvements
We're ready to open almost 9 kilometres of new lanes on CityLink between the West Gate Freeway and Flemington Road, including an extra lane in each direction on the Bolte Bridge. Elements of a new freeway management system will also be switched on.
The new lanes will increase capacity for the 200,000 drivers who use this section of CityLink each day, while the freeway management system will help improve traffic flow.
These upgrades are a significant milestone as crews work towards fully completing upgrades between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street in late 2017.
Here's what's changing on CityLink from 1 April:
- Four running traffic lanes in each direction instead of three
- Speed limits will remain at 80km/hr
- Emergency lanes have been removed
- Overhead digital lane use signs will be switched on to alert you if a lane is closed ahead or direct you into a new lane if required
- CCTV cameras in operation to spot and respond to any issues on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
Once these upgrades are complete, drivers will experience the full benefits of new lanes and smart technologies.
Over the next few months, crews will work hard to complete broader upgrade works between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street, including:
- adding an extra lane on the Bolte Bridge to Burnley Tunnel exit ramp to help cut long queues
- adding an extra inbound lane on the West Gate Freeway for drivers travelling towards the Burnley Tunnel
- commissioning the remaining elements of the freeway management system, including ramp metering and real-time travel time signage
We'll continue to schedule freeway, ramp and lane closures needed to complete our works at night only to make sure we don't impact your trips during the day time.
Drivers need to be alert and aware of changed traffic conditions including reduced speed limits during ongoing night time road works.
Importantly, there will be no changes to how drivers access the ramps to enter onto the West Gate Freeway.
Drivers entering CityLink in this section of road will notice that the left-hand side emergency lanes – on either side of the road – have been converted into running traffic lanes.
New overhead lane use signs can turn any lane into an emergency lane when required.
These signs will also give drivers advanced notice of a lane closure or reduced speed limits if there's an incident ahead.
CCTV cameras will spot and respond to incidents or breakdowns in need of CityLink incident response crews or emergency services. This technology will help make sure we send an incident response crew to help you out as quickly as possible.
What to do if your car breaks down in this upgraded section of CityLink?
We know accidents and breakdowns can happen from time to time.
Here's what to do if you break down in this upgraded section of CityLink:
- Pull over to the side of the road if it's safe to do so
- Stay in your vehicle and turn your hazard lights on
- We'll send a crew to help you
CityLink incident response crews are on hand to get you moving as quickly as possible. We've got you covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What's involved in the upgrade?
This diagram highlights key improvements being made on CityLink between the West Gate Freeway and Flemington Road as of 1 April.
Why are improvements needed?
Currently, the number of vehicles wishing to use the ramp from the Bolte Bridge towards the Burnley Tunnel is higher than its capacity. This results in long queues in the centre lane on the Bridge that can stretch back to Footscray Road.
Traffic in this lane is much slower than those in neighbouring lanes, posing a safety risk that has contributed to some 400 crashes on the Bolte Bridge between 2008 and 2013.
Merging and weaving is a safety issue
This project will reduce crashes by adding an extra lane from the Bolte Bridge to the Burnley Tunnel to reduce queue lengths on the Bridge and the weaving and merging that happens when people try to 'queue jump' to access the centre lane.
The upgrade will also extend the physical separation of vehicles entering the West Gate Freeway from the Bolte Bridge and those already travelling on the West Gate Bridge towards the tunnel to reduce merging and weaving and keep traffic in dedicated lanes.
These changes will see more consistent and reliable travel times reducing frustration for drivers currently experiencing vastly different travel times from one day to the next.
Keeping the community informed
We are advertising all major work in advance. Details of all traffic impacts are posted on this website and on the @citylinkmelb and @vicroads Twitter accounts. You can also follow us on Instagram @ctwidening.
On-road signage will advise motorists of recommended alternative routes and real-time traffic information where available.
- Bolte Bridge to West Gate Freeway Upgrade fact sheet PDF, 985.3 KB.
- Bolte Bridge to West Gate Freeway Upgrade - September works update PDF, 616.4 KB
If you have any questions about the upgrades to the Bolte Bridge to West Gate Freeway connections contact us at 1300 783 947 (select option 1) or email@example.com.