North East Link
Department or agency
Major Transport Infrastructure Authority
The North East Link will fix the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network, connecting the M80 with an upgraded Eastern Freeway. The North East Link will provide much-needed congestion relief across the network and will significantly reduce travel times on key routes (including a 30-minute reduction for trips between the M80 and the Eastern Freeway, and a 40 per cent improvement along the Eastern Freeway). There will also be a large reduction in truck numbers travelling on the arterial road network in the north east, resulting in faster and more reliable travel times for freight.
The new freeway connection will:
- Slash travel times between Melbourne’s north and south-east by up to 30 minutes
- Take 15,000 trucks off local roads a day
- Deliver more than 25 kilometres of new walking and cycling paths
- Create more than 10,000 Victorian jobs
North East Link includes:
- Victoria’s longest road tunnels: three-lane twin tunnels travelling for six kilometres, protecting properties and the sensitive Banyule Flats area
- Interchanges at the M80 Ring Road, Grimshaw Street, Lower Plenty Road, Manningham Road and Bulleen Road
- Melbourne’s first dedicated busway with express lanes along the Eastern Freeway from Doncaster towards the city
The business case for the $15.8 billion North East Link project was published in May 2018. The $7-9 billion Primary Package (which includes the tunnelled section) will be delivered as an availability public private partnership (PPP).
Procurement commenced in November 2018 with the release of the Expression of Interest tenders for both the Primary Package and the Early Works package. Contractual and financial close of the Primary package is expected by 2020. The remaining project packages (north of the Primary Package and on the Eastern Freeway) will be progressively tendered, with North East Link completion due in 2027.
The new link will be tolled, with the State retaining toll revenues initially, while the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road will remain toll free.
Website: North East Link