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Tunnels & bridges

Tunnels & bridges

Road tunnels

Victoria has four road tunnels of significant length, all of which are located within the Melbourne metropolitan area, and all which require the payment of a toll to use.

When driving in one of Melbourne's tunnels, you should:

  • Remove your sunglasses as they may hinder your ability to see in the darkened environment
  • Turn on your vehicle's headlights so that it is more visible to other motorists
  • Keep lane changes to an absolute minimum for safety
  • Obey the variable speed limit signs which may display any speed up to 80 km/h
  • Stay out of closed lanes which have an illuminated red cross displayed above them
  • Do not stop your vehicle in the tunnel except in the case of an emergency
  • Turn your radio on as any important safety or traffic announcements will be broadcast over existing station frequencies

Mobile phone coverage is available in all of Melbourne's tunnels. Relay stations have been installed, allowing Telstra, Optus and Vodafone customers to use their phones.

Domain and Burnley Tunnels

These two tunnels are located just to the south-east of the Melbourne CBD and link the West Gate Freeway with the CityLink tolled sections of the Monash Freeway (M1).

The Domain Tunnel is 1.6 kilometres in length and carries 3 lanes of traffic citybound (west bound) under the Yarra River, Kings Domain and Southbank arts precinct.

The Burnley Tunnel is 3.4 kilometres in length and carries 3 lanes of traffic outbound (east bound) under the Southbank arts precinct, Kings Domain, Yarra River, Olympic Park and residential areas of Richmond.

Both tunnels were first open to traffic in 2000.

Driving through either the Domain or Burnley tunnels requires the payment of a CityLink toll.

Domain Tunnel, Melbourne
Domain Tunnel entrance, Melbourne

Melba and Mullum Mullum Tunnels

These two parallel tunnels are located at the northern end of EastLink (M3) in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

Each tunnel is 1.6 kilometres in length and consists of 3 traffic lanes which burrow up to 53 metres under Mullum Mullum Park in the suburb of Donvale.

The Melba Tunnel carries citybound (west bound) traffic, while the Mullum Mullum Tunnel carries outbound (east bound) traffic.

Both tunnels were first open to traffic in 2008.

Driving through either the Melba Tunnel or Mullum Mullum Tunnel requires the payment of an EastLink toll.

Mullum Mullum Tunnel, Donvale
Mullum Mullum Tunnel entrance, Donvale

Road bridges

Melbourne has two iconic road bridges of significant length across major waterways.

Bolte Bridge

This cantilever-style bridge with two central towers is located west of the Melbourne CBD at Docklands. It spans the Yarra River at the entrance to Victoria Harbour and the mouth of Moonee Ponds Creek.

The Bolte Bridge carries a total of 6 lanes of traffic - 3 lanes northbound and 3 lanes southbound. While officially only 490 metres in length, the actual structure appears much longer as it forms part of a 5 kilometre elevated roadway between Flemington Road and the West Gate Freeway.

Construction of the Bolte Bridge began in 1996 and it was first open to traffic in 1999. The bridge was named after Victoria's longest serving premier, Sir Henry Bolte.

The Bolte Bridge is part of the Western Link section of the CityLink toll road, thus driving along the Bolte Bridge requires the payment of a CityLink toll.

Bolte Bridge, Docklands
Bolte Bridge over Yarra River, Docklands

West Gate Bridge

This cable-stayed bridge is located south-west of the Melbourne CBD, linking Port Melbourne with Spotswood. It spans the Yarra River at a point upstream from its mouth in Port Phillip and downstream from the entrance to the Maribyrnong River.

The West Gate Bridge carries a total of 10 lanes of traffic - 5 lanes westbound and 5 lanes eastbound. It is 2,583 metres in length and the fourth longest road bridge in Australia.

Construction of the bridge began in 1968. In 1970, while still under construction, a span from the bridge collapsed and fell, killing a number of workers. Work on the bridge resumed in 1972 and it was finally completed and opened to traffic in 1978.

The West Gate Bridge is part of the West Gate Freeway (M1) and driving along the bridge is free of charge. Tolls were originally collected when it first opened, however toll booths closed in 1985.

West Gate Bridge, Port Melbourne
West Gate Bridge, Port Melbourne