Bridge works clog West Gate Freeway

It just might be the first day the hated Punt Road provides a better cross-city run than CityLink for frazzled motorists.

Traffic is now banked up for several kilometres in both directions along the West Gate Freeway as workers resurface the West Gate Bridge.

The bridge is reduced to two lanes in both directions, creating major delays for holiday-makers heading to the surf coast, as well as city workers and freight operators.

VicRoads says it is currently taking 29 minutes to drive from Kings Way to the West Gate Bridge. It says there are 15 minute delays from Toorak Road to the tunnel.

East-bound, it is a stop-start 28-minute drive from the Western Ring Road to the bridge.

Motorists have used Twitter to report of traffic being banked up all the way through the Domain Tunnel and as far as Toorak Road in the east and Boundary Road in the west.

Resurfacing works on the bridge are scheduled to go on until January 11, coinciding with what VicRoads says is the quietest time of the year on Melbourne's roads. Drivers have been advised to allow extra travel time or take another route. A VicRoads spokeswoman said it was necessary to do much of the asphalt resurfacing work during the day.

Rail commuters have also been heavily affected by track work in the City Loop that has thrown the network into chaos. The work has forced trains to stop running trains between Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations on all but six lines, and heavily affected services through the Loop.

Only the Werribee, Sunbury, Upfield, Craigieburn, Hurstbridge and South Morang lines are running between Melbourne's busiest two stations today, although Werribee trains will briefly terminate at Southern Cross for an hour from 4.30pm.

Most lines are not running through the City Loop either, instead running direct to and from Flinders Street Station. Only the South Morang and Hurstbridge lines are running through the Loop today, as well as some dedicated City Loop stations. Trains are running to an altered Saturday timetable. Commuters have been advised to check to see how their line has been affected.

The works are part of the Regional Rail Link project. There will also be major track works between the city and Albion. Buses will replace trains on the Sunbury line from 8pm on Friday until first thing Monday morning.

This story Bridge works clog West Gate Freeway first appeared on The Age.