A world-class field of construction firms have been shortlisted to build Melbourne’s second river crossing.

Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan announced three consortia have been chosen to tender for the design and construction of the $5.5 billion Western Distributor that will slash congestion and take thousands of trucks off inner west streets.

The consortia that have been selected following a rigorous expression of interest process are John Holland and CPB Contractors, Lend Lease Engineering and Bouygues Construction, and an international consortium of Salini Impreglio, Fluor Australia and Lane Worldwide Infrastructure.

The world-class constructors will prepare fully costed designs for the Western Distributor, which includes the widening of the West Gate Freeway, a tunnel under Yarraville, a second river crossing, and connections to the port, CityLink and the city.

They will deliver innovative design and construction methods that will ensure the best outcome for motorists and the community.

The Western Distributor will provide a vital second river crossing as an alternative to the West Gate Bridge, slash travel time from Geelong by 20 minutes, and create 5600 jobs.

A Reference design is being developed which will take into account feedback from extensive consultation with local government, local residents and businesses and the freight industry.

To ensure planning certainty for the community, the Reference design and any innovative solutions developed by tenderers will be thoroughly and transparently assessed through the Environmental Effects Statement process.

The contract will be signed by late 2017 with the project to commence construction soon after and be completed in 2022.

For the full release go to premier.vic.gov.au

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