North East Link
Preferred bidder announced
Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.
The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.
The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.
The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).
Preferred bidder announced
A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.
Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.
ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:
Construction projects: > AUD$300m
Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m
All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million
The proposed North East Link project will connect the Metropolitan ring road (M80) and Eastern Freeway (M3) completing a ring road around Melbourne which includes the Monash Freeway (M1).
The North East Link Authority has been established to manage the project under the same model used on the Metro Tunnel and Western Distributor. The Victorian Coordinator General will oversee the project.
The Victorian Government has committed $35 million towards business case development, stakeholder consultation and route selection to be completed by 2018, and a further $100 million in the 2017/18 State Budget to complete critical design, planning and preconstruction works. Geotechnical investigations for the project across 24 sites in Melbourne's North East started in April 2017.
In August 2017 the Victorian Government released four potential corridors for public consultation:
- Corridor A: from the M80 south to the Eastern Freeway near Bulleen Road using the existing freeway reserve following Greensborough Highway (11 kilometres)
-Corridor B: starting near Canterbury Road and moving through Donvale, Mitcham and north west up to the M80 (24 kilometres);
-Corridor C: starting near Canterbury Road, moving north through Warrandyte and Eltham before trending west to connect to the M80 (26 kilometres); and
-Corridor D: starting near Boronia Road, trending eastwards through Chirnside Park, utilising part of the proposed Healesville Freeway reserve, before coming back west through St Helena to the M80 (40 kilometres).
In November 2017, Corridor A was announced as the preferred corridor between the M80 south to the Eastern Freeway near Bulleen Road.
The North East Link will begin on the Eastern Freeway at Springvale Road where the capacity of the Eastern Freeway will be doubled with six additional dedicated lanes. The freeway will connect to a new six lane tunnel at Bulleen with local underground connections at Banksia St and Manningham Road. There will be a local connection at Lower Plenty Road, with the North East Link then running north alongside the existing Greensborough Highway, which will stay open for local traffic. A new interchange will see North East Link travel beneath Grimshaw Street in Watsonia, before connecting to the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough.
In April 2018, the Victorian Government released the early design concepts of the project. Information sessions will be held across the project area and feedback will be taken to inform the next stage of detailed design work.
In the lead up to the 2018-19 Budget the Government indicated procurement would begin within 100 days following the November 2018 State election, pending their re-election, with contracts scheduled to be signed in 2019 and major construction starting in 2020.
The Victorian Government announced that a further $110 million would be allocated towards planning and design of the project in the 2018-19 Victorian Budget. The 2018-19 Budget states that the main package of the project – a tunnel under the Yarra River and environmentally sensitive areas to the north of the Eastern Freeway – will be an availability-PPP and be tolled. However, the Victorian Government will retain the toll revenue for an unspecified period of time. The Eastern Freeway will remain toll-free.
Prior to procurement commencing, there will be opportunities for private sector engagement in the North East Link project for a range of contractors, designers, suppliers and financiers.
In the 2018-19 Federal Budget, the Government allocated $1.75 billion towards the project which will see funding contributions each year between FY2019-20 and FY2025-26.
In May 2018, the Victorian Government released the business case for the $15.8 billion North East Link. The project’s benefit to cost ratio (BCR) is $1.30 for every dollar spent and increases to $1.40 when wider economic benefits, such as better freight connections, are considered. The business case has been also submitted to Infrastructure Australia (IA). The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning also released draft scoping requirements for the North East Link’s Environmental Effects Statement (EES).
The project is identified as a 10-15 year priority project in Infrastructure Victoria’s (IVs) 30-year Infrastructure Strategy while in March 2018, Infrastructure Australia listed the project as a Priority Initiative in its Infrastructure Priority List with a medium term delivery timescale (5-10 years).
IV notes funding for North East Link should include user charges in the form of tolls or as part of a transport network pricing regime to manage demand. Beneficiary charges could also be considered if there is a substantial uplift in economic activity in the vicinity of the project.
Last reviewed: 07/06/2018