Getting on with North East Link
A preferred bidder has been selected for the tunnelling package for the North East Link, which will fix the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network, slash travel times and free up local roads for local trips.
Spark has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver the tunnelling package in another important step for Victoria’s biggest road project.
North East Link’s twin three-lane tunnels will protect homes and sensitive environmental areas including the Yarra River, Banyule Flats and Warringal Parklands.
The tunnelling package will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership.
The Victorian Government will now work with the preferred bidder to negotiate a final contract and finalise the concept design for North East Link, ready to share details with the community before the end of the year.
Once the tunnelling package is awarded, the project will go out to market for other key elements of North East Link including a massive overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, the completion of the M80 Ring Road and more than 25 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.
North East Link will connect the M80 Ring Road to an upgraded Eastern Freeway, slashing travel times by up to 35 minutes, taking 15,000 trucks off local roads.
It will link key growth areas in the north and south-east, providing an efficient connection for up to 135,000 vehicles each day and allowing travel from Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs to the airport without stopping at a single traffic light.
A big focus is on creating local jobs for local people, with more than 10,000 jobs on the project and 10 per cent of total work hours to be done by apprentices, trainees or cadets as part of the Victorian Government’s Local Jobs First Policy.
This $15.8 billion project is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments, with construction on the tunnelling package to begin after contract award later in the year.