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 $200 million early works package will comprise critical enabling works to enable efficient and value-for-money delivery of the Primary and Secondary packages, along with minimising critical interfaces and de-risking North East Link. The works include the design, development and removal, relocation and protection of utility services including 220 kilovolt transmission towers, other electrical assets, telecommunication assets, water and sewerage assets, and drainage and gas pipelines.
In the lead up to the 2018-19 Budget the Victorian Government indicated procurement would begin within 100 days following the November 2018 State election, pending their re-election. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) were called for the Early Works package following the Government's re-election. EOIs were due by 1 February 2019.
In April 2019, CPB Contractors and Laing O'Rourke were shortlisted for the early works package.
On 2 September 2019, CPB Contractors was awarded the package.
Major construction is expected to start in early-2020.