Designs for North East Link have been released with a longer tunnel to Watsonia, simpler underground interchanges, a new tree-lined boulevard for Greensborough Road, new green bridges and new parklands and wetlands.
This massive program of work is the biggest ever investment in Melbourne’s north-east. As well as building Victoria’s longest twin road tunnels, the design delivers an overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, completion of the Ring Road in Greensborough and a North East Trail with more than 34km of walking and cycling paths – nine more than originally planned.
The longer 6.5km tunnel means an additional 1.9km of overall tunnel length will now be built using Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs). This replaces cut-and-cover and trenches which will reduce disruption and create more room for a tree-lined Greensborough Road boulevard and new parklands above.
The Ring Road will be completed with new lanes, smart technology and a seamless interchange with North East Link. Two new green bridges in Watsonia will link to new multi-level train station parking.
New technology on the Eastern Freeway and more than 45km of new lanes will work together to slash travel times by up to 11 minutes.
The Eastern Express Busway will make it quicker and easier to get to and from the city on public transport, with park and rides at Bulleen and Doncaster and a bus every minute in the peak.
We’ve also expanded our plans for the North East Trail, with 34km of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths linking the north-east to Yarra River trails and parklands.
The North East Link Tunnels will take the longest to build so work will start on these first, with the other elements of North East Link to be taken out to market from 2022.
The timing for detailed design and construction will be carefully staged so the whole project can open around the same time in 2027/28, bringing all the pieces of North East Link together.
Before construction gets underway, detailed designs will be exhibited so local people can see and comment on the design in their local area – starting with the North East Link Tunnels in 2022.