Friday, January 21, 2011

Funding for road tunnel(s) unlikely

Of course, it's never completely off the agenda, as the prospect of a tunnel has been kicking around for decades, but just in case you missed this...

MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR plans for a freeway road tunnel in Melbourne's west and a 17-kilometre rail tunnel under the city centre - proposed by the Brumby government but never funded - are now unlikely to get money from Canberra, the state's new Transport Minister says.

In his first wide-ranging interview about the challenges facing Victoria's beleaguered transport system, Terry Mulder said federal money for major infrastructure projects promised by the previous government was fast drying up.

''When you have a look at the billions of dollars from around Australia - and have a look at what has just happened in Queensland - the feeling that I am getting is that over the next few years it is most likely smaller projects that are going to get federal government funding.''

He said the proposed $5 billion WestLink freeway under Footscray had already been turned down for funding by Canberra. And his government had no plan to build the second stage of the road, from the Eastern Freeway in Clifton Hill to CityLink in Flemington.

The rest of the planning for metro rail tunnel will still go ahead, but beyond that... ?

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