Work has now begun on determining the exact construction schedule of the WestLink road; and soil samples are currently being evaluated to do so. This road will further attach itself to the stigma many Melburnians already hold against the Western suburbs. The road will tunnel under Footscray proper, emerging at West Footscray and ploughing its way through Sunshine. What the residents of Maribyrnong have asked for is a North–South truck detour alignment going from Footscray Road, past oil holding tanks to the M1, with those nearer Tottenham waiting for a North–South link from the Westgate Freeway at Grieve Parade to the Tottenham railway yards.
But Westlink is not simply about maligning the truck route from the ports to the M1. It is merely a small piece in the development of a grand thoroughfare (the East West Link road) from the M3 Eastern Freeway portal at Hoddle Street to the M80 Western Ring Road and further afield to the proposed Outer Ring Road (OMR). Added to this is the spectre of sinking Hoddle Street itself at crucial junctions (namely Victoria Parade, Bridge Road and Swan Street) to allow for grade–separated intersections and an atrocious environment for those that are already fed up with living in the commission towers in Collingwood. Once again, this is billions of Victorian‘s money squandered on a philosophy of road–building that leaves the 1969 Melbourne Transport Plan for dead. Our money; that which would go a long way in completing the ‘missing link‘ in the North–East section of the current M80 Ring Road, upgraded freight rail and a dedicated rapid–transit rail system; which surprisingly has Jeff Kennett as it‘s champion. But with traffic–flow guarantees in the road contracts you might doubt that it‘ll happen any time soon.