We’re getting ready to start construction of the North East Link Tunnels later this year.
As we prepare for major tunnelling construction, this update outlines upcoming works in your area including Greensborough Road, Watsonia, at Winsor Reserve, Macleod and at Borlase Reserve, Yallambie.
In response to community feedback, we're building longer tunnels. To build the tunnels, we’ll need to assemble and launch tunnel boring machines (TBMs). These huge machines will dig the North East Link Tunnels well below the ground, ensuring the community and local businesses can continue to operate above ground. The North East Link TBMs will be launched from the east side of Greensborough Road near Lenola Street, and Winsor Reserve will also be used to support construction works and tunnelling.
From late May, we'll start to prepare construction sites and compounds in Watsonia, Macleod and Yallambie ahead of major work later this year. We'll also be making changes to Greensborough Road that will be in place during construction.
We’ll be keeping the local community updated as we move closer to getting these works underway, and our community engagement team will be out and about talking to nearby residents and businesses.
See the map on the fact sheet for more details.
Upcoming works at Watsonia and Macleod
Greensborough Road realignment
In late May and early June, we'll be preparing to realign Greensborough Road between Wattle Drive and Watsonia Road. This will allow us to build the launch box where the TBM parts will be lowered into and the TBMs assembled, with tunnelling expected to start in 2024.
The small car park closest to Watsonia Road will close at the end of May (the Watsonia Station car park will remain open). You'll see us out talking to traders and residents about these works as planning progresses. We expect these works to be completed in late September, with the changed traffic conditions in place for a number of years.
Tunnel boring machine launch area
Now that we're building a longer tunnel, the TBMs will be launched further north, closer to the future tunnel entrance. At the end of May, we'll start preparing the site north of Lenola Street in Macleod, ahead of major piling and excavation work later in the year. Piling involves heavy machinery and cranes to bore deep holes which are filled with concrete. The piles will form the support for the launch box.
To get ready for the arrival of the TBMs, you’ll see us start to secure the area where the launch box will be excavated and the surrounding compound will be built, including a large storage area. Sites will be fenced off, with machinery and materials to be brought and stored on site.
We'll be building a large acoustic shed at Winsor Reserve later this year, with the area to be fenced off from June. This shed will support the TBMs once they start tunnelling on the other side of Greensborough Road. As the TBMs make their way underground toward Bulleen, the dirt they excavate will be transported via a fully enclosed conveyor system over Greensborough Road to the shed. From there, it will be safely loaded onto covered trucks inside the shed and securely carried off site. The acoustic shed will be constructed to minimise noise, dust and light spill.
The playground and Tuckfield Court path at the western side of the reserve will remain open and some large established trees on the western and southern side of the reserve will also remain.
Construction compounds will be established along Greensborough Road from Watsonia Road to Blamey Road, with sites fenced off from the end of May. You'll see site offices and dedicated worker facilities going up, plus storage areas being prepared to support works in the surrounding areas.
Tree replacement and protection
To construct the North East Link Tunnels and interchanges, some trees and vegetation will need to be removed along Greensborough Road with strict environmental performance requirements in place. We've designed the project to keep trees wherever we can and to maximise opportunities for new trees to be planted – including new parklands along Banyule Creek and the Yarra River and 700 new trees for the new Greensborough Road boulevard. We'll plant 2 trees for every 1 removed.
Upcoming works at Yallambie
Use of Borlase Reserve
Borlase Reserve will continue to be used as a site compound to support major tunnelling works and construction of the new Lower Plenty Road interchange. From the end of May, you'll see site offices and storage areas being constructed. Large machinery will also arrive on site ready to support the start of piling works from late in the third quarter of 2022. Piling involves workers and construction equipment boring huge support columns into the ground to allow deeper digging to safely commence.
Continued closure of Drysdale Street
Drysdale Street will remain closed from Greensborough Road to Borlase Street for several years while works are taking place.
Construction vehicle access
All construction site access will be from a purpose-built entry at Lower Plenty Road. Following this entry being built, no construction vehicles will access the construction site via Borlase Street.
Pedestrian and cyclist detours
New walking and cycling detours will be in place while the tunnels are being built to ensure pedestrians and cyclists can move safely around the area.
Bus stop closures
From June, 2 bus stops on Route 513 at Torbay Street and Greensborough Road will close in both directions for several years due to works in the area. Alternative bus stops nearby are:
- Simpson Army Barracks/Greensborough Road (to Eltham)
- Watsonia Road/Greensborough Road (both directions)
- Yallambie Road/Greensborough Road (to Glenroy)
When we'll be working
- Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm
- Sunday to Thursday, 7pm to 6am
- Saturdays, 7am to 1pm
Sometimes we may need to work outside these hours and we'll let you know beforehand.
We'll notify you before work starts nearby with more information on what time and days we'll be working.
How we’re managing impacts
We're planning our work to minimise disruption to the local community and road users wherever we can.
Noise - At Winsor Reserve, noisy works will be contained inside the purpose-built shed. Hoardings will also provide some noise mitigation for nearby residents.
Dust - At Winsor Reserve, the purpose-built shed will help contain dust from construction. Most roads within works areas will be sealed to minimise dust movement. Trucks carrying dirt from the tunnels will be covered.
Traffic - When lane closures, speed reductions and detours are needed, we'll provide plenty of notice and have traffic management plans in place to minimise disruptions as best we can.
Light - Shields will be used to minimise light spill into homes.
Night works - If night or out of hours work is required, we will ensure noise is kept to a minimum to reduce disturbance to residents. We’ll also let you know about any night works in advance and discuss support measures with you.
Parking - Dedicated worker car parking is built for each construction area, enough for all workers to ensure they don’t park on local streets.
Property condition surveys
You may have received a letter from the Spark team offering your home a complimentary property condition survey. The report produced will provide an independent record of the condition of your property on the date of the inspection.
If you received a letter and would like a complimentary inspection of your property, call us on 1800 105 105.
Keeping you up to date
We'll continue to provide the local community with information about construction as it progresses. Our community engagement team will continue to be out and about talking to people about works in their area and how we can support you during construction.
Once we start construction, you may sometimes see us out capturing photography and videography, including the use of drone and time-lapse cameras.
Voluntary Purchase Scheme
With construction planning well progressed, the North East Link Project is finalising a Voluntary Purchase Scheme for property owners who will be most affected by impacts of both construction and final project design. This means some people in particular homes, in particular circumstances are eligible for the Government to purchase their home.
Once the details for this area are finalised, the North East Link Project will be in touch with eligible property owners with more information about the process and how they can participate if they choose.
Help shape designs for your local area
The Urban Design and Landscape Plan for the North East Tunnels is on exhibition from Wednesday 11 to Tuesday 31 May. The UDLP has detailed maps and drawings of the project design and an explanation of how it meets strict requirements in place for North East Link. Making a submission is your opportunity to have a say on local elements for your area including new parklands, wetlands, walking and cycling paths and improvements to local roads.
Make your submission online at Engage Victoria by 5pm Tuesday 31 May 2022. You can also visit a display and talk with our team at the Watsonia Community Information Hub or the Veneto Club, Bulleen.
- a new Greensborough Road boulevard with 700 new trees
- revitalised Banyule Creek wetlands
- a simpler Lower Plenty Road interchange
- new River Gum bridge across Lower Plenty Road connecting parklands to Banyule Flats and Yarra River trails
- 5 MCGs of community parklands at Borlase Reserve with adventure and nature playgrounds, fitness areas and walking trails
- 6 new and upgraded intersections and crossings will make Greensborough Road safer and easier to use