Works are in full swing as we prepare for major construction of the North East Link Tunnels. Site compound set up continues from Watsonia to Bulleen, to get ready for tunnelling to start in 2024.
In Watsonia, construction is well underway as we prepare the launch box for the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) ahead of their delivery in late 2023. We’re building a large shed to store concrete segments that will be used to form the walls of the 6.5km tunnels. We’ve also shifted Greensborough Road over to keep traffic moving alongside construction. You’ll start to see a large gantry crane being built at the site which will be used to assemble the TBMs and other heavy equipment.
A large acoustic shed is taking shape at Winsor Reserve in Macleod. This will be where the dirt and rock dug out from the tunnels is loaded onto trucks. A covered conveyor belt over Greensborough Road will carry the dirt and rock into the shed, where trucks will take it away. Truck wheel wash stations will also be installed to reduce dirt and rock making its way on to roads.
In Yallambie, works are progressing for the Lower Plenty Road interchange at the Borlase Reserve site. The interchange will be built using the cut and cover tunnelling method. Over 400 diaphragm walls, known as D-walls, will be used to support the excavation of the tunnel entrance and exit at Lower Plenty Road. Two worker car parks have also opened on site near Blamey Road to ease congestion on local roads
Construction compounds have been set up on both sides of Bulleen Road, and we’re moving the road further west to make room for the new tunnel entrances and Yarra Link green bridge. Traffic will continue to use the existing road before moving onto the new lanes later in 2023.
Also in Bulleen, we’re building the new Manningham Road interchange. The simpler ramp design for the interchange will avoid the historic River Red Gum on Bridge Street and keep Bulleen Art & Garden open. Ramps at Manningham Road will allow you to exit the tunnel or enter to travel south towards the Eastern Freeway, and the interchange at Thompsons Road will allow northbound tunnel entry towards the M80 Ring Road.
As part of this massive program of work, we're also overhauling the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road. Upgrades will include new lanes, smart technology and a seamless connection with North East Link.
Urban Landscape and Planning designs for the Eastern Freeway Upgrades and M80 Ring Road will be on exhibition for comment later this year, and site investigations have started ahead of major construction from 2024.
- Early works for North East Link started in 2020.
- Construction on the North East Link Tunnels started in late 2022.
- Preferred bidders were selected for the overhaul of the Eastern Freeway and the completion of the M80 Ring Road in early 2022.
- Builders for the Eastern Freeway Upgrades, Eastern Express Busway and M80 Ring Road Completion will be brought on from 2023, with construction expected to start from 2024.
- North East Link opens in 2028.