17 May 2022

As we prepare for major construction of the North East Link Tunnels later this year, we’ll soon be starting works to get ready for the assembly and launch of the 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. TBMs require a large work area to ensure they can be safely assembled and lowered into the ground, ready for tunnelling.

Launching the TBMs

The North East Link TBMs will be launched from the east side of Greensborough Road near Lenola Street. The machines will be lowered into a 200m long excavated box which will eventually become the northern tunnel portal.

The construction of this TBM launch area will begin at the end of May, with site levelling and the removal of surface materials, in preparation for excavation and piling later in the year.

Acoustic shed on Winsor Reserve

When the TBMs start tunnelling in 2024, the dirt they excavate will come to the surface on a continuous enclosed conveyor system. The conveyor carries it over Greensborough Road to a large acoustic shed on Winsor Reserve. Inside the shed, the dirt will be safely loaded onto covered trucks and moved offsite.

To manage truck and traffic movements and to keep locals safe, a new set of traffic lights will be installed on Greensborough Road at Winsor Reserve, with a signalised pedestrian crossing.

The acoustic shed is built to contain the noise, dust and light spill otherwise associated with construction activities. It will be approximately 140m in length, 80m in width and 18m in height, with entry and exit points for trucks from Greensborough Road only.

Preparing for tunnelling

To get ready for the arrival of the TBMs, you’ll see us start to secure work areas from late in May with high timber hoarding, fencing and barriers around the boundary and some site levelling and clearing. Machinery and materials will be brought and stored on site ahead of construction of the acoustic shed on Winsor Reserve and excavation of the launch box north of Lenola Street later this year.

See the map on the fact sheet for more details.

Retaining access to Winsor Reserve

We know how important the reserve is to the local community, and we have been able to retain around a quarter of Winsor Reserve as public open space. The playground at the western side of Winsor Reserve and the path through to Tuckfield Court will remain open for local use. This area will be fenced off from June in preparation for works and to keep locals safely separated from construction activities throughout works.

Tree protection

We’re working hard to keep trees where we can and are designing the project 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.

While we will need to remove trees on Winsor Reserve to construct the shed and its access points, some large established trees on the southern and western boundaries will be retained. We’ll be planting at least 2 trees for every 1 removed, and will reinstate Winsor Reserve for community use at the end of construction.

Voluntary Purchase Scheme

With construction planning well progressed, North East Link is finalising a Voluntary Purchase Scheme for property owners who will be most affected by impacts of both construction and final project design. This was a requirement when the project was approved and means some people in particular homes, in particular circumstances are eligible for the Government to purchase their home. Any decision for property owners to sell their home to the State Government is entirely voluntary.

Once the details for this area are finalised, North East Link will be in touch with property owners with more information about the process and how they can participate if they choose.

This information is current at the time of publication, however changes may occur. Please visit our website for the latest updates.