There is serious concern in Australia over the spiraling costs of a major transport project in Melbourne, Victoria. The West Gate Tunnel project now looks likely to cost an additional US$2.12 billion (A$3 billion). This will bring the final pricetag to $4.73 billion (A$6.7 billion).
However, the spike in the cost has been caused by unforeseen circumstances, namely, the discovery of contaminated soil and problems with moving utilities. The volume of the contaminated soil is such that it cannot be moved to existing landfill areas, further increasing the problems and costs.
The project has already been hit by other delays and issues that have put up its pricetag, with a growing awareness of further problems to come. The project now looks likely to take a further 10 months to complete, with tunneling work having already been pushed back.
Another problem is the legal wrangle between Transurban and construction firms working on the project, John Holland and CPB Contractors.