On top of the significant disruptions and traffic delays caused by Victoria’s “Big Build” throughout 2022, the West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) has announced significant closures of Footscray Road in the Swanson Precinct adjacent to the Port for the first six months of 2023.
From 12 January to early April 2023, the eastbound/citybound lanes on Footscray Road will be closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week between Dock Link Road and Appleton Dock Road.
Then from April to mid-May, the westbound/outbound lanes of Footscray Road will be closed 24/7.
CTAA perceives difficulties with the proposed heavy vehicle detour (as shown in the map below) via Dock Link Road, Dynon Road, Spencer Street and Dudley Street for heavy loads and due to bridge height restrictions.
Unfortunately also, CTAA understands that Coode Road east of Dock Link Road is slated to close (partly) in the first quarter of 2023 due to the construction of the Patrick intermodal rail terminal as part of the Port Rail Transformation Project.
This may contribute to delays in heavy vehicles detouring via Coode Road between Dock Link Road and Appleton Dock Road to access Port facilities at the eastern end of the Port, including Patrick East Swanson Terminal off Appleton Dock Road.
With the eastbound lanes of Footscray Road completely closed for that period of time, other matters of detail that need to be addressed by the Government and the WTGP team include:
- The traffic-light timings for the right hand (RH) turn from the Footscray Road service lane into Dock Link Road given that there will be a significant build-up of truck traffic at that intersection; and
- The need to avoid “rat-running” by cars and private vehicles down Coode Road in the Port when they are confronted with a closure of the eastbound lanes of Footscray Road. Private vehicle detours via Dynon Road seem preferable, otherwise it sounds like an accident waiting to happen!
CTAA has been proactive to request an Industry Briefing Meeting with the WGTP Team, the Port of Melbourne and Victorian Government officials to allow container transport operators to be provided with better information on the planned works and detour contingencies.
The meeting is scheduled for 10.30 am, Tuesday, 10 January 2023, which despite the timing of the meeting in the New Year, all key transport service providers are encouraged to attend. Kerry Logistics’ interests and that of our customers will be represented, and further information will be shared following the meeting to ensure we understand the closures, detours and implications.