17 January 2024

We’re getting ready to upgrade the Eastern Freeway with new express lanes, new traffic management technology and Melbourne’s first dedicated busway to slash travel times and improve public transport in Melbourne’s east.

We're also building new and upgraded walking and cycling paths, along with safer pedestrian bridges and underpasses.

We'll reimagine Koonung Creek Reserve with revitalised wetlands and waterways, plant thousands of new trees and plants, and introduce Victoria's toughest traffic noise standard.

Major works to upgrade the Eastern Freeway from Burke Road to Tram Road will commence in January 2024, with construction beginning on the southern side of the freeway between Doncaster Road and Elgar Road.

To build a seamless interchange with North East Link, new express lanes and new Eastern Busway, the Eastern Freeway will be widened. To enable this, we'll need to work alongside the freeway corridor, including the wetlands near Valda Avenue in Mont Albert North.

We’ll also set up a work site on Elgar Park’s north-west oval for worker facilities, parking and equipment storage. We’ll also use the oval to create temporary floodwater storage while we work at Valda Wetlands.

New planting and landscaping

Once construction is complete, we’ll reinstate the Koonung Creek Trail and Elgar Park north-west oval. The Valda Wetlands will be landscaped with new trees and vegetation in line with an approved Urban Design and Landscape plan.

10,000+ new trees including more than 1.8 million new plants will be planted for the first stage of the Eastern Freeway Upgrades from Burke Road to Tram Road.

Upcoming works between Doncaster Road and Elgar Road

1. Reimagining Valda Wetlands and building the new Heyington Avenue bridge

The Valda Wetlands will be reconfigured, expanded and joined with a rebuilt Koonung Creek. The 43,700 square metre wetland precinct will be reimagined as a living waterway with indigenous trees and plants, new seating areas and new and upgraded pedestrian paths.

A new shared-use bridge at Heyington Avenue will improve walking and cycling connections to and from the wetlands.

These are complex works, and we’ll work with qualified ecologists as we clear large areas of vegetation in Valda Wetlands and safely relocate fauna to nearby areas before we begin.

Upcoming works

From early February 2024, we’ll realign two short sections of the Koonung Creek Trail, install noise reduction fencing around our worksites and begin work on the wetlands.

While we work in the Valda Wetlands area, we need to use part of the space to build the new Heyington Avenue bridge.

The new bridge will be straightened and widened, featuring improved pavements and landscaping to create a better experience for bike riders and pedestrians using the Koonung Creek Trail.

We’re speaking with regular bridge users, including nearby schools, about how we manage any potential disruptions in this area, and we’ll share more details closer to bridge works starting.

2. Diverting the Koonung Creek under the Eastern Freeway

We're building a small channel to let Koonung Creek flow under part of the new freeway lanes. This helps make space for noise walls, the Koonung Creek Trail, and maintains water flow to the wetlands.

From August 2024, we’ll be working to install the channel between Sweyn Street in Balwyn North and the Valda Wetlands in Mont Albert North. This will involve diverting the Koonung Creek Trail around work areas, removing vegetation, installing new channel piping, and constructing the new Koonung Creek Trail and noise walls.

We’ll be out talking to local residents about these works in the coming months.

3. Creating a works site and flood storage at Elgar Park’s north-west oval

To support construction in the Valda Wetlands, we’ll set up a work site on Elgar Park’s north-west oval for worker facilities, parking and equipment storage. We expect to begin setting up the work site in early 2024.

We’ll dig up a small section of the oval to create temporary flood storage while the wetlands are built. We’ll also construct hard surfaces for storing large machinery and equipment needed for the construction of the Heyington Avenue bridge and new noise walls.

The Elgar Park north-west oval will be restored to a playable surface once construction is complete and our work site is removed.

We'd like to hear your feedback on our proposed use of the Elgar Park north-west oval.

We’ll use this information to help shape the upcoming

Construction Compound Plan that will help manage impacts to the surrounding residents, schools, clubs, and environment.

You can give feedback or arrange a time to speak to a member of the project team by contacting us on 1800 105 105 or by email to contact@bigbuild.vic.gov.au.

Ongoing site investigations

We’re continuing site investigations along the Eastern Freeway and in surrounding areas between Burke Road and Middleborough Road to further inform our design, planning and construction staging.

We’ll be surveying bridges and other structures, checking the location of underground services and assessing ground conditions. We’ll do this work at night on the freeway and on major arterials to keep traffic moving freely during the day.

Traffic and access

To keep construction traffic off local streets, we’ll build access points from the Eastern Freeway for heavy vehicles to access all three sites.

While we build these access points, you’ll notice some construction traffic on Elgar Road and within the Elgar Park sporting precinct.

A few large deliveries will be made to site via Valda Avenue. We’ll have worker parking available on-site to avoid the need for parking within Elgar Park and nearby streets.

We’ll also continue working with clubs in Elgar Park to schedule our vehicle movements outside of their peak-usage times and reduce impacts to local sports users as much as possible.

Managing construction for local residents

We’ll be carefully managing our works to consider local people and the environment by:

  • installing high quality screening around work areas to reduce dust and visual impacts
  • working during the day, where possible
  • creating access to work areas from the Eastern Freeway to keep construction traffic and trucks off local streets
  • building worker parking onsite to avoid using residential streets
  • managing and monitoring noise, dust and vibration in accordance with stringent Environmental Performance Requirements.

When we'll be working

  • Monday to Friday 7am to 6pm
  • Saturdays 7am to 1pm

While we aim to complete most of our works during the day, some extended hours and night-time works may be required.

We’ll contact residents and businesses in the area to share more information as this occurs.

Precinct Timeline

Early 2024

  • Koonung Creek Trail diverted
  • Works begin in Valda Wetlands
  • Elgar Park north-west oval site establishment begins

Mid 2024

  • Elgar Park site establishment complete

Late 2024

  • Koonung Creek channel works begin
  • Elgar Park north-west oval flood storage works begin
  • Heyington Avenue bridge works begin


  • Valda Wetlands landscaping works
  • Koonung Creek channel works complete
  • Existing Heyington Avenue bridge removed, new
  • Heyington Avenue bridge complete
  • Elgar Park north-west oval reinstated

Keeping you up to date

There are many ways you can keep in touch and learn more about works in your area.

Speak to our team: Our community engagement team will be speaking to local residents about these works and how we can support you during construction.

Join us at an information session: We'll be hosting information sessions about our project works in early 2024. More information to come soon.

Contact us: You can also contact us on 1800 105 105 to speak to a member of the project team or to make an appointment to see us.

Sign up for updates: If you would like to receive SMS or email updates visit: www.bigbuild.vic.gov.au/projects/roads/email-and-sms-updates