1 March 2019

An Environment Effects Statement (EES) has been released for the North East Link Project. An EES is the state’s most rigorous impact assessment process. It gives decision makers such as the Planning Minister and EPA Victoria the information they need to determine whether approvals should be granted and what conditions should apply.

The EES for North East Link includes information on how the project could affect the environment during construction and operation and how adverse impacts would be managed.

What’s in the EES Map Book?

The EES Map Book shows the reference project that has been used to assess impacts for the EES.

It includes drawings of the project including proposed construction methods, laydown areas, where major utility services would need to be moved, proposed locations for new and upgraded walking and cycling paths, the proposed project boundary and no-go zones to protect sensitive areas.

The reference project shown in the EES Map Book is not the final design for North East Link.

The reference project in the Map Book is one feasible way the project could be designed, constructed and operated.

Planning approvals, design work for the project and consultation with communities and stakeholders is still ongoing and components of the project design could change.

The final detailed design will be guided by an Urban Design Strategy that is on display as part of the EES.

See below for more information about the Urban Design Strategy.

How to read the Map Book

The Map Book shows the reference project assessed for the EES during construction and once the project is built and operating.

Horizontal plans

Horizontal plans show the project laid flat on a satellite image. The construction and operation stages are shown next to each other to make it easy to see how the project would be different at each stage.

Construction is shown on the left hand page. Operation is shown on the right.

Vertical alignments and cross sections

Vertical alignments (longitudinal) and cross sections are drawings that show the height and depth of the reference project. You’ll find these at the back of the book.

Where to find key sections of the project

Section 1: Horizontal plans

  • M80 Ring Road to Grimshaw Street: pages 1 to 7
  • Grimshaw Street to Lower Plenty Road: pages 8 to 15
  • Lower Plenty Road to Manningham Road: pages 16 to 20
  • Manningham Road to Eastern Freeway: pages 21 to 23
  • Eastern Freeway: Hoddle Street to Bulleen Road: pages 24 to 31
  • Eastern Freeway: Bulleen Road to Doncaster Road: pages 32 to 35
  • Eastern Freeway: Doncaster Road to Springvale Road: pages 36 to 42

Section 2: Vertical alignments

  • M80 Ring Road to Eastern Freeway: pages 1 to 21
  • Eastern Freeway: pages 22 to 47

Section 3: Cross sections

  • M80 Ring Road to Eastern Freeway: pages 1 to 9
  • Eastern Freeway: pages 10 to 15

Key terms in the Map Book

Proposed project boundary

The proposed project boundary shows the area where permanent structures and temporary above and below ground work sites would be located. It includes surface works, underground works and minor works such as possible upgrades to signalling on the Hurstbridge Rail Line. The proposed project boundary for surface works is shown as a solid red line on the construction plan. The project boundary for underground works and minor works are shown as red dashed lines. The builders would be required work within the project boundary and to minimise the footprint of any works within it.

No-go zones

The reference project has been developed to avoid four large ‘no-go zones’ where surface construction work would not be permitted. The ‘no-go zones’ protect Banyule Flats, Warringal Parklands, Banksia Park and the Yarra River, Bolin Bolin Billabong and ecologically sensitive areas along the Eastern Freeway and M80 Ring Road. Consultation with local communities helped confirm the importance of these areas and the need to protect them.

Potential construction compounds

The Map Book shows locations for potential construction compounds to build North East Link. An indicative area for each is shown. The builders would be required to minimise the final size of any compounds and the length of time the site is needed. Activities at each compound would vary depending on how they are used to support construction work nearby. Possible uses include site offices, storage of vehicles and equipment, staff amenities (such as temporary parking) and spoil management. Once construction is finished, the builders would be required to restore the area in consultation with Councils, land users and local communities. More information about construction compounds including proposed locations is found below.

Noise walls

The Map Book shows where noise walls would be built or upgraded to protect residents and noise sensitive buildings such as schools. The location of new and upgraded noise walls shown in the Map Book is based on noise modelling for the reference project. Once the builders have developed a more detailed design, further noise modelling will confirm the best location and heights of noise walls. The Urban Design Strategy will guide ideas for design treatments, finishes and planting.

Walking and cycling paths (shared use paths)

North East Link includes around 25km of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths. The Map Book shows paths that would be built by builders appointed to construct North East Link. Other new paths and upgrades planned to be delivered in partnership with local Councils and other contractors are not shown in the Map Book. While constructing North East Link, the builders would be required to maintain access to existing paths, or provide suitable alternatives. The location of temporary alternatives will be developed during detailed design stages and are not shown in the Map Book.

Tunnel locations and construction techniques

North East Link includes around 6km of tunnel to protect homes and sensitive environmental areas. Once built, they will be the longest road tunnels in Victoria. The Map Book shows where 3 different tunnelling techniques would be used to best suit ground conditions and road design.

  • Tunnel boring machines (TBM) – large cylinder shaped machines that tunnel deep underground, progressively installing concrete linings to support the tunnel excavation.
  • Mined tunnelling – a machine with a rotating, cutting head on the front chips away at rock underground.
  • Cut and cover construction – excavation equipment is used to dig a large trench in the ground where the tunnel structure is built and then covered.

The Map Book shows an indicative route for the North East Link tunnels and a larger area assessed for where they could possibly be built. The final tunnel routes will be within the boundaries shown in the EES and determined by the builders during detailed design stages.


To prepare for major construction works, some key utilities such as sewers, water mains and pressure reducing stations, telecommunication towers and transmission towers would need to be moved. The existing locations and new locations for these utilities are shown in the Map Book.

Tunnel ventilation structures

The tunnel ventilation system for North East Link would be designed to meet EPA Victoria’s air quality requirements and ensure air quality is maintained at safe levels inside the tunnels. The Map Book shows the proposed location for 2 ventilation structures. One next to Bulleen Road near the southern portal and one on what is currently Simpson Barracks land near the northern portal. The structures are expected to be around 40m high. The builders appointed to build North East Link will develop detailed design concepts for the ventilation structures and be guided by the Urban Design Strategy. The Map Book also shows a location for an emergency exhaust tunnel near the Manningham Road interchange.

Potential construction compounds

We’ve worked with local councils and land owners to identify potential locations for construction compounds. You can find them in the Map Book here:

  • Page 3 – M80 Ring Road road reserve, Greensborough
  • Page 6 – AK Lines Reserve, Watsonia
  • Page 9 – Gabonia Avenue Reserve, Watsonia
  • Page 12 – Winsor Reserve and corner Yallambie Road and Greensborough Road, Yallambie
  • Pages 13 to 15 – Simpson Barracks and Borlase Reserve, Yallambie
  • Page 19 – Corner of Manningham Road and Bulleen Road, Bulleen
  • Page 22 – Part of Trinity Marles and Marcellin College playing fields and Veneto Club parking lot, Bulleen
  • Page 27 – Chandler Highway road reserve, Kew
  • Page 30 – Yarra Flats Reserve and Musca Street Reserve, Balwyn North
  • Page 32 to 33 – Koonung Creek Reserve near Kampman Street and Kosciusko Road, Balwyn North
  • Page 35 – Doncaster Park and Ride and Koonung Creek Reserve near Gardenia Road, Balwyn North
  • Page 37 – Katrina Street Reserve, Doncaster
  • Page 37 – Elgar Park (north-east oval), Mont Albert North
  • Page 42 – Eastern Freeway Linear Reserve near Springvale Road, Nunawading

The final locations will be confirmed following the EES process and informed by the final project design as well as ongoing consultation with councils and key stakeholders.

In preparation for construction we’ve also been working with local councils, sports clubs and community facilities to look at options for temporary replacement facilities during construction and, where needed, long-term relocation options. More information is in the EES Social Impact Assessment and Sport and Recreation Options fact sheet.

Urban Design

North East Link will feature design excellence and outstanding urban design.

The North East Link Urban Design Strategy sets the design vision and quality expectations for all elements of the project. It will guide the development and evaluation of concepts and detailed designs, and future planning for the project.

Celebrating local character and connecting communities

Urban design for North East Link will celebrate the unique and distinct identities of Melbourne’s north-east and eastern suburbs, enhancing local character and connecting communities.

It will employ best practice urban design and architectural design to ensure a lasting legacy for Melbourne.

In Melbourne’s north-east the project design will respond to views of green, leafy ridgelines, connect communities to local shopping, transport, employment and education hubs.

Along the wide green corridor of the Yarra River Valley, the project design will celebrate culturally significant places including Bolin Bolin Billabong, improve community access to open space, build new bus and commuter bike links and respect the design qualities of the existing Eastern Freeway.

Along the Koonung Creek Valley, the project design will maintain and enhance the network of walking and cycling paths, optimise and upgrade open space, create great bus journeys starting with an upgraded Doncaster Park and Ride and reinstate trees and other vegetation to the road corridor, open space, wetlands and waterways.

Developing the Urban Design Strategy

The Urban Design Strategy has been developed in consultation with local communities, local councils, an Urban Design Advisory Panel with specialists from the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, Transport for Victoria and VicRoads and a partnership with the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation that is a ‘Victoria first’ for a project of this size.

The Urban Design Strategy is on display for public comment with the EES.

How Urban Design is shaping North East Link

Planning and approvals

  • Urban Design Strategy developed through specialist urban design and landscape inputs and consultation with communities, councils, Urban Design Advisory Panel and the Wurundjeri.
  • EES and Urban Design Strategy on exhibition for public comment. The Urban Design Strategy sets the requirements for the final project design.

Detailed design

  • project builders develop detailed concepts and designs, including Urban Design and Landscape Plans based on the Urban Design Strategy.
  • builders' designs are guided and reviewed by the Urban Design Advisory Panel.
  • construction.

Have your say on the Environment Effects Statement

This fact sheet is based on information in the Environment Effects Statement (EES) for North East Link.

The EES process gives you the opportunity to have your views considered in planning approvals decisions for North East Link.

The EES will be on display and open for public comment from 10 April to Friday 7 June 2019. There are seven community information sessions from 27 April where you can learn more and chat to our technical specialists.

You can find more details and read the EES on our website or see a hard copy at a display location near you. Visit North East Link Project online or call 1800 105 105 for more information.