FEARS are mounting that a second river crossing from the western suburbs to the CBD is at least 10 years away.
The concerns were expressed after the state government wound up a community reference group for the western end of the project.
The government made the decision two weeks ago to focus on planning the eastern end of the east-west road link.
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But LeadWest chief executive Anton Mayer fears the closure means the government is planning to build the eastern end first.
"The western part is more important because that's where the growth is and the transport logistics industry is increasingly located here."
Shadow minister for major projects and infrastructure Tim Pallas said incidents such as last Tuesday's truck rollover on the West Gate Freeway highlighted the need for a second river crossing from the west.
He said it would take the government at least seven years to plan, fund and build the eastern end of the east-west link, leaving western suburbs residents to sit on congested roads.
"[Building the eastern end first] consigns some of the fastest-growing areas of Melbourne and the south-west coast to a gridlock."
A spokeswoman for Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the closure of the reference group did not suggest the eastern end was the government's priority.
"The east-west link is a massive project that also needs federal money. To meet Infrastructure Australia's requirements we also need to ensure we consider the full cost of the project and its strategic impact on the road network."
No Freeway for West Footscray spokeswoman Lucy Liga has said the money could be better spent on other transport options, particularly public transport.
WestLink community representative Bruce Light said the community was frustrated over lack of progress on major road projects.