Labor’s West Gate Tunnel concrete block transport debacle

In 2018 Labor said:

“A new 700 metre siding will be created from the existing rail line to provide access to the (Benalla) precast facility. New track will also be built – connected to the nearby freight line – so the concrete segments can be loaded directly from the precast facility on to freight trains and transported to Melbourne.” 

As reported in the Herald Sun, it’s now clear that Labor has lied to the community as these precast concrete blocks cannot be transported by train.

It also now apparent that even road transport issues were not thought through before the project commenced. Now we discover that with the train ruled out a direct road route is not possible either and these massive concrete blocks will be moved to small country roads on a ‘scenic tour’ of North Eastern Victoria, blocking up country roads and towns.

The scenic country route will see West Gate Tunnel super loads leave the Hume Highway at the Southbound Longwood exit and travel along the Longwood Avenel Road before re-joining the Freeway via Alexandersons Road at Locksley.

Why didn’t Labor think about the structural issues at Pranjip Bridge before the project commenced? The bridge is heritage listed and was built in 1857, so it is hardly a surprise.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:

“This just yet another of Labor’s shocking construction blunders.

“You couldn’t make this stuff up!

“Far too many of Labor’s projects are either delayed, massively over budget or embroiled in mismanagement and controversy.”

Comments attributable to the Member for Euroa, Steph Ryan:

“Locals were not told that these huge concrete tunnel pieces would be transported via local roads.

“Longwood and Locksley residents should not have to bear the brunt of Daniel Andrews’ incompetence.

“When the trucks and concrete slabs finally get to the Hume Highway after their scenic tour, they will undoubtedly severely slow traffic on this critical road.”

Comments attributable to the Member for Northern Victoria, Wendy Lovell:

“Locals have every right to be angry with the arrogant way local communities are being treated by the Andrews Government.

“The local council has been kept in the dark and only found out very late what Labor’s bizarre fall-back plan is.”

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