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 project includes two six-kilometre three lane tunnels, ventilation structures, green spaces, and 25 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling tracks.
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 the North East Link travel beneath Grimshaw Street in Watsonia, before connecting to the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough.
|2018||Commencement of procurement|
|2021||Expected Construction Commencement|
|2027||Expected Construction Completion|
|The 2018-19 Victorian Budget allocated $110 million to fast track planning and design for the project.|
|Shortlist:||Early Works Contract - CPB Contractors, Laing O'Rourke|
|Successful Tenderer:||Early Works Contract - CPB Contractors|
|Apr 2017||Geotechnical investigations across 24 sites in Melbourne's North East commenced.|
|2017||The North East Link Authority was established to manage the project under the same model used on the Metro Tunnel and Western Distributor. The project will also be overseen by the Victorian Coordinator General.|
|Aug 2017||The Victorian Government released four potential corridors for public consultation.|
|Nov 2017||Corridor A was announced as the preferred corridor between the M80 south to the Eastern Freeway near Bulleen Road.|
|Apr 2018||The Minister for the Environment determined that the project would be assessed by a Public Environment Report (PER). The PER assesses how the project could affect matters of national environmental significance.|
|Apr 2018||The Victorian Government released the early design concepts of the project.|
|May 2018||The Victorian Government released the business case for the project. The project’s benefit to cost ratio (BCR) was estimated to be $1.30 for every dollar spent. This increased to $1.40 when wider economic benefits, such as better freight connections, are considered. The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning also released the draft scoping requirements for the North East Link’s Environmental Effects Statement (EES).|
|Sep 2018||The Victorian Government released detailed designs for the project.|
|Sep 2018||The Victorian Government released the proposed project packaging, which comprises the main (primary) package PPP for the tunnel and four secondary packages. The Government also indicated the PPP will be procured first before secondary packages are tendered.|
|Nov 2018||Procurement of the Primary package PPP and a $200 million Early Works contract began following the Victorian Government's re-election.|
|Feb 2019||Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for the Early Works contract closed.|
|Apr 2019||The Environmental Effects Statement (EES) was released for exhibition.|
|Sep 2019||The final Public Environment Report (PER), including a summary of submissions received and how they have been addressed, was submitted to the Federal Minster for the Environment to inform approval under the EPBC Act.|
|Dec 2019||The Federal Minister for the Environment provided environmental approval under the EPBC Act.|
|Mar 2020||The Victorian Government introduced legislation to create a state-owned tolling company for the North East Link. Tolls will be applied to the north-south section of the project, which includes the tunnel under the Yarra River. This company will use revenue from tolls to recover some of the construction costs and also fund future maintenance.|
|Oct 2020||The Victorian Government invited suppliers to submit proposals for the provision of Constructability Advisory Services to support in the delivery of the North East Link.|