On the 15th of June 2008 Melbourne’s newest Tollway had an open day when visitors could walk the two 1.6km long tunnels and generally check out their newest road. The $2.5 billion, 39km road opened on the 26th of June after a 39 month construction period involving 13,000 workers. It is estimated the road will turnover almost 1 million a day until 2043 when it will revert to a public thorough fare.
The current labour government was swept into power back in 1999 due in no small part to their promise to keep eastlink toll free. Shortly after winning and despite promises from the federal government to help fund the project to the tune of $500 million (as I remember) if it was kept toll free, they backflipped on their promise claiming the economy couldn’t afford it. Unfortunately the new and inexperienced treasurer did his math wrong with the government ending up 1.2 billion in the black that financial year alone (as I remember), rendering the unaffordable excuse obsolete. By the time this was worked out however the contracts with the builders had been signed and it’s destiny as an expensive tollroad had been asphalted in place.
For those familiar with the iconic Melbourne cartoonist Leunig, I reckon the silhouette looks like Mr Curly
Now that the road is open taking a shot from this position would be illegal and dangerous, glad I had the opportunity to take it, my two girls are in the shot too.
For other shots in this genre check out my Urban Landscapes gallery.