Freeway chaos after truck smashes Burnley Tunnel gates

February 22, 2024 10:36 am in by
Image: Department of Transport

Drivers headed for Melbourne face serious delays after a dramatic truck collision that’s blocked the entrance to the Burnley Tunnel.

It’s understood the oversized rig triggered boom gates as it approached the tunnel but then failed to stop, smashing through the gates and causing serious damage.

Department of Transport (DoT) spokesman Andrew Crook said the driver would have had plenty of warning.

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“There are flashing lights, there are boom gates (and) there are warning signs telling motorists to stop,” he said.

“The clearance in the tunnel is 4.65 metres, this truck has been detected as (being) over that height, which has triggered the boom gates.

“My understanding is the truck driver continued through the bom gates and that’s resulted in them becoming inoperable.”

All east-bound lanes of the West Gate Freeway are closed at Power Street and traffic is currently backed up to Millers Road in Altona.

The Department of Transport said motorists caught in the jam should expect delays of more than an hour, and warned drivers to exit the freeway as early as possible.

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Drivers stuck in the chaos can exit at Cook Street, Montague Street or Kings Way and detour through Port Melbourne, South Melbourne or Southbank, and return to CityLink from Batman Avenue, Punt Road or Yarra Boulevard.

There are also significant delays on CityLink/Tullamarine Freeway, with motorists advised to exit at Flemington Road and detour north and east around the CBD.

Transurban crews are working to remove the damaged boom gates but the DoT said it would be hours before traffic returns to normal.