Elevated Loop Road

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Elevated Loop Road

Melbourne Airport is addressing growing traffic congestion through the construction of an elevated loop road network, which will separate public traffic from commercial transport operators.

Airport growth in coming years will place increasing pressure on the ground transport network across the airport.

In 2016-17, 35.2 million passengers passed through the airport, with this forecast to increase to 67.8 million by 2038. Airfreight is expected to nearly double from 463,000 to 901,000 tonnes annually, while the total airport workforce is expected to increase by more than 15,000 people, to 35,000 people.

To accommodate this increase in passengers, freight demand and employees, upgraded ground transport infrastructure is required. The project will facilitate the development of an elevated road network, which will improve road transport efficiency and create additional road capacity.

Within the next five years, access improvements will target critical congestion points on the network leading into the airport, in particular Departure Drive, and the intersection of Centre Road and Terminal Drive.

The following key segments of the network will be progressively delivered.

Stage 1 – T4 Express Link

A new, direct connection from the Tullamarine Freeway into the T4 ground transport hub.

The Major Development Plan (MDP) for the T4 Express Link is currently on public exhibition. You can find the documents and submission form here.

An MDP is the planning approval document for developments at airports. Any development valued at more than $20 million, or that has a significant impact on the environment or local community, requires an MDP.

Once an MDP has been developed, it is placed on public exhibition for a period of 60 business days. It is during the public exhibition period that the community, government agencies and organisations can have their say on the proposed development.

If approved, work on the T4 Express Link will commence in 2019 and take approximately 12-15 months to complete. The project will create a more streamlined exit from the Tullamarine Freeway catering mostly to T4 domestic travellers who will no longer need to navigate around a number of roundabouts and busy intersections to make their way to the pick-up, drop-off and parking facilities.

The T4 Express Link works will largely be constructed away from the Tullamarine Freeway to reduce impacts on the travelling public. Some minor disruption is expected within the Long Term Car Park during construction, and critical works such as the lifting of concrete bridge beams will be undertaken overnight to further minimise impacts on motorists and airport passengers.

The Project will assist in boosting the capacity of the existing road system, as travel demands at Melbourne Airport are expected to increase significantly in the future. The Project is part of a long term initiative to more effectively distribute traffic at Melbourne Airport.

Have your say on the T4 Express Link MDP here.

Stage 2 – Elevated Loop Road and Forecourt

This stage includes:

  • Construction of a one-way elevated road, connecting the existing T4 ramp into a reconfigured T123 ground transport hub, allowing intersection-free access to all terminal precincts
  • An elevated connection from the reconfigured T123 ground transport hub directly into Departure Drive for drop-off traffic
  • An elevated connection from the reconfigured T123 ground transport hub directly into Melbourne Drive for pick-up traffic.

Stage 2 of the project, which delivers the grade separation of the heavily congested Terminal Drive and Centre Road intersection, is expected to commence by 2021.

The Elevated Loop Road and Forecourt project will be subject to a separate MDP.

Combined with the T4 Express Link, it will add around 1.6km of new road to the airport’s existing network. Stage 2 is estimated to improve travel times for people driving into the airport precinct by around 5-10 minutes.

It is intended that the new elevated network will be used for drop-off, pick-up and some parking functions and will provide the opportunity to remove all future traffic off Departure Drive. This will reduce pedestrian-vehicle conflict, provide greater pedestrian priority at the departures level of T1, T2 and T3, and increase the separation distance from the terminal building. These actions build on the approach that was successfully applied in the T4 ground transport hub.

The at-grade network will continue to be used as the primary circulation network for commercial passenger vehicles (e.g. shuttle buses, coaches, rideshare and taxi), public transport vehicles, employees and freight traffic. The reconfigured access arrangements will remove a significant volume of traffic off the current at-grade road network, thereby improving the level of service for other airport users, including employees and commercial traffic.


Elevated Loop Road

Melbourne Airport is addressing growing traffic congestion through the construction of an elevated loop road network, which will separate public traffic from commercial transport operators.

Airport growth in coming years will place increasing pressure on the ground transport network across the airport.

In 2016-17, 35.2 million passengers passed through the airport, with this forecast to increase to 67.8 million by 2038. Airfreight is expected to nearly double from 463,000 to 901,000 tonnes annually, while the total airport workforce is expected to increase by more than 15,000 people, to 35,000 people.

To accommodate this increase in passengers, freight demand and employees, upgraded ground transport infrastructure is required. The project will facilitate the development of an elevated road network, which will improve road transport efficiency and create additional road capacity.

Within the next five years, access improvements will target critical congestion points on the network leading into the airport, in particular Departure Drive, and the intersection of Centre Road and Terminal Drive.

The following key segments of the network will be progressively delivered.

Stage 1 – T4 Express Link

A new, direct connection from the Tullamarine Freeway into the T4 ground transport hub.

The Major Development Plan (MDP) for the T4 Express Link is currently on public exhibition. You can find the documents and submission form here.

An MDP is the planning approval document for developments at airports. Any development valued at more than $20 million, or that has a significant impact on the environment or local community, requires an MDP.

Once an MDP has been developed, it is placed on public exhibition for a period of 60 business days. It is during the public exhibition period that the community, government agencies and organisations can have their say on the proposed development.

If approved, work on the T4 Express Link will commence in 2019 and take approximately 12-15 months to complete. The project will create a more streamlined exit from the Tullamarine Freeway catering mostly to T4 domestic travellers who will no longer need to navigate around a number of roundabouts and busy intersections to make their way to the pick-up, drop-off and parking facilities.

The T4 Express Link works will largely be constructed away from the Tullamarine Freeway to reduce impacts on the travelling public. Some minor disruption is expected within the Long Term Car Park during construction, and critical works such as the lifting of concrete bridge beams will be undertaken overnight to further minimise impacts on motorists and airport passengers.

The Project will assist in boosting the capacity of the existing road system, as travel demands at Melbourne Airport are expected to increase significantly in the future. The Project is part of a long term initiative to more effectively distribute traffic at Melbourne Airport.

Have your say on the T4 Express Link MDP here.

Stage 2 – Elevated Loop Road and Forecourt

This stage includes:

  • Construction of a one-way elevated road, connecting the existing T4 ramp into a reconfigured T123 ground transport hub, allowing intersection-free access to all terminal precincts
  • An elevated connection from the reconfigured T123 ground transport hub directly into Departure Drive for drop-off traffic
  • An elevated connection from the reconfigured T123 ground transport hub directly into Melbourne Drive for pick-up traffic.

Stage 2 of the project, which delivers the grade separation of the heavily congested Terminal Drive and Centre Road intersection, is expected to commence by 2021.

The Elevated Loop Road and Forecourt project will be subject to a separate MDP.

Combined with the T4 Express Link, it will add around 1.6km of new road to the airport’s existing network. Stage 2 is estimated to improve travel times for people driving into the airport precinct by around 5-10 minutes.

It is intended that the new elevated network will be used for drop-off, pick-up and some parking functions and will provide the opportunity to remove all future traffic off Departure Drive. This will reduce pedestrian-vehicle conflict, provide greater pedestrian priority at the departures level of T1, T2 and T3, and increase the separation distance from the terminal building. These actions build on the approach that was successfully applied in the T4 ground transport hub.

The at-grade network will continue to be used as the primary circulation network for commercial passenger vehicles (e.g. shuttle buses, coaches, rideshare and taxi), public transport vehicles, employees and freight traffic. The reconfigured access arrangements will remove a significant volume of traffic off the current at-grade road network, thereby improving the level of service for other airport users, including employees and commercial traffic.


Want to know more about the elevated loop road project? Ask us a question!

We will aim to respond within five business days.


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    Hi, I would like to ask if there are any plans at foot to link airport drive with the Tullamarine freeway for northbound and southbound traffic at Mercer Drive? A duplication of Mercer drive, to allow traffic on airport drive, to turn at the Mercer Rd roundabout and cut straight across to the Tullamarine freeway to head north on the freeway towards Sunbury, would totally eliminate all the traffic that currently uses Centre road heading north and not using the airport. As somebody who does this myself everyday, I notice a lot of vehicles including trucks heading towards Sunbury Rd, and currently the only option is to enter the airport precinct along Centre Rd. It has always amazed me why this would not have been planned from the start, as there is currently so much un necessary congestion caused from traffic not using the airport. I have seen the proposed elevated loop road on youtube, and I understand that this will allow vehicles to head north onto Sunbury Rd, but only after doing an un necessary loop through the airport precinct, still creating congestion for no apparent reason, and after they loop around the airport, they return to the vicinity of Mercer drive, where they started, to exit onto Sunbury Rd. Seems absolutely crazy. Kind regards, Russ.

    Russss asked over 1 year ago

    Hi Russss,

    We expect an improvement in traffic conditions between Airport Dr and Sunbury Rd (through Centre Rd Northbound) by transferring traffic currently using the at grade network to the elevated network as part of the elevated road works programme.

    Unfortunately a duplication of Mercer drive (Northbound) to allow for Sunbury Road traffic to bypass the airport would not be allowed under VicRoads guidelines due to proximity of exits off the freeway, which would likely cause unsafe weaving issues on the freeway due to vehicles trying to enter the airport precinct on Terminal Drive.


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    Will stage 2 eliminate completely pedestrian crossing of through traffic? This is what causes the major hold ups. The pedestrians need to elevated walkways to each of the lanes of traffic/pick up.drop off zones

    kasper asked over 1 year ago

    Hi kasper,

    The design of the elevated forecourt is still being finalised, however, a key principle of the project is to minimise the number of pedestrian crossings throughout the precinct. This is aimed to improve on the existing conditions currently experienced on departures drive in order to provide for a much better and safer driver and pedestrian journey.


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    Will the t123 section of the elevated road still have 3 pedestrian crossings that drop off vehicles have to contend with? Thank you

    Guy asked over 1 year ago

    Hi Guy,

    The design of the elevated forecourt is still being finalised, however, a key principle of the project is to minimise the number of pedestrian crossings throughout the precinct. This is aimed to improve on the existing conditions currently experienced on departures drive in order to provide for a much better and safer driver and pedestrian journey.


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    Will there be any development for a better connection between airport drive and sunbury road for local traffic. Commuting from the business park to Sunbury rd is a nightmare. Need something similar to the connection added for the airport drive to city solution.

    EmmaJade asked over 1 year ago

    Hi EmmaJade,

    We expect an improvement in traffic conditions between Airport Dr and Sunbury Rd (through Centre Rd Northbound) by transferring traffic from the existing network to the elevated network as part of the elevated road works program.