Beginning later this week, road closures will be in place across three nights as loads weighing up to 175 tonne and over 60 metres long make their way from the Port of Melbourne.
The ‘superloads’ are components that will form part of two 4000-tonne custom built tunnel boring machines, which will dig the North East Link Tunnels.
On Friday September 8 and Saturday September 9, a 175 tonne load will be transported by road from the Port of Melbourne to Watsonia. Large supporting infrastructure will also make its way to Watsonia from Deer Park on Thursday September 21.
Some components being transported are over 10 metres wide, taking up the entire width of road for part of the journey. Due to the size of the loads, they will travel at speeds between 25km/h and 40km/h.
VicRoads advises that the load will be travelling in stages, across three nights to reduce the impact on the road network.
Night 1: September 8, 10pm to 2.30am, Port of Melbourne to Derrimut
Night 2: September 9, 10pm to 5am, Derrimut to Watsonia
Roads that will be impacted include Footscray Road, Moreland Street, Whitehall Street, Francis Street, Geelong Road, McDonald Road, Somerville Road, Fairbairn Road, Boundary Road, M80 Ring Road and Greensborough Highway.
Night 3: September 21, 11pm to 5am, Deer Park to Watsonia
Roads that will be impacted include Christies Road, Deer Park Bypass, M80 Ring Road and Greensborough Highway.
Rolling lane closures will be in place along the planned route as the superloads travel through and at times, they will be required to move to the wrong side of the road. This means motorists in both directions will be impacted. Lanes will progressively reopen after the superloads have passed.
Traffic management will be in place, with load escorts helping to manoeuvre the vehicles safely around corners, temporarily removing signage and lights, placing steel supports over existing drainage and then putting everything back in place once the superloads have passed through.
“This is a very complex operation due to the size and weight of the superloads so there are no designated viewing opportunities. Please keep clear during transit and when the superloads are parked, as safety is our number one priority,” advised VicRoads.