Drivers returning from holidays have been warned to expect delays of up to an hour on Sunday evening as works continue to replace road surface in the Burnley Tunnel.
An influx of people returning to Melbourne before many start work on Monday is expected to put the closure to a test between 6pm and 10pm.
CityLink senior project manager Graham Widger urged drivers to plan ahead to either avoid the area or include extra travel time. He said the safety of drivers and workers was the highest priority.
"We understand getting around town isn't going to be business as usual but we’ve worked really hard to make it as easy as possible," he said.
Since the tunnel was closed on January 2, expected traffic delays of up to 45 minutes have not eventuated.
VicRoads director of road operations Dean Zabrieszach said drivers should get off the freeway at Geelong Road, Montague Street or Kings Way.
Mr Widger said traffic was increasing about five per cent daily since the tunnel was closed.
"In the order of tens of thousands more vehicles on the roads tomorrow will create for more congestion and more delays on the road."
Traffic is up to 50 per cent lower in January, as many Melbournians escape the city to beachside areas and interstate for the holidays.
It is the first time since the tunnel opened in 2000 that is has been resurfaced. It is expected to open to traffic at 5am on Tuesday.