The project`s business case included “indicative” tolls for the use of the 5km road and the $3 tunnel for cars and $13 for trucks, although Transurban said it could exclude dangerous display trucks to encourage them to remove them from local roads.  Trucks used as container shuttles could also benefit from a reduction in toll prices and a daily cap to encourage them to avoid intra-Western routes.  The West Gate Tunnel will improve the route to and from Melbourne and create an alternative to the West Gate Bridge. When the West Gate Tunnel is opened, there will be 24-hour truck traffic bans on local roads in the inner west, which will help improve road safety, local air quality and noise. The project aims to create another link between western Melbourne and the CBD. It would include a 2.8 km east tunnel and a 4 km westward tunnel. It is now more likely that the tunnel will be opened in 2023. Credit: Justin McManus The presence of contaminated land from past industrial uses in the project area and its effects were discussed at the SEA hearings and the final report of the Investigative and Advisory Committee.  In mid-2019, the joint venture responsible for the construction of the project – CPB Contractors and John Holland – reportedly sent Transurban a Memorandum of Understanding stating that they were facing a force majeure event, an unpredictable circumstance that made it impossible to achieve contractual conditions due to difficulties in removing soil contaminated by PFAS. They stated that the volume of contaminated soil was larger than expected and that the rules governing its disposal had become stricter since the beginning of the work. They asked Transurban to cover the additional costs they incurred — a figure that is expected to be between $500 million  and $1 billion.  At the end of January 2020, the companies stated that they wanted to terminate the contract because the problem had not been resolved within six months.
As the dispute intensified, it was predicted that tunnel construction equipment could still remain stalled for six months, raising doubts as to whether the project could be implemented by the 2022 deadline and whether 140 tunnel workers had been laid off.   Until mid-May 2020, it was reported that hundreds of other workers, including employees, had been laid off because of the delays.  Soil samples taken near Mackenzie Road in Footscray, where the tunnel ramps would pass, were reportedly contaminated between 112 and 2000 times the permitted level in drinking water.