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“Congestion is forecast to cost the Victorian economy $6bn annually by 2020 unless we take steps to address it,” Mr Donnellan stated, adding that there is a need to “ensure that responsibility for a whole-of-government approach is assigned to a single agency”.
Due to both Patrick and DP World indicating that there is potential to increase the container throughput at Swanson Dock to about 4m teu, the minister said that the number of truck visits to Swanson Dock could increase to around 12,000 per day. “What’s needed is a major road project that will reduce truck use in the inner west, improve access to the Port of Melbourne and ease congestion on the West Gate Bridge,” the minister said.
Expressions of interest are being sought for the $40m first stage of the project. Shortlisted contractors will take part in a request-for-tenders process in May and the contract will be awarded mid-year, with construction beginning before the year’s end.
Alongside work to build the West Gate Distributor, Mr Donnellan said work is well under way on the Port of Melbourne’s Port Capacity Project. Its two key elements are expansion of Swanson Dock and the further development of Webb Dock.
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