Builders have been moving power, water, gas, sewer and telecommunications lines since 2020, so construction can start on the tunnelling package. Expected to start after contract award later in 2021.
Around 100 above and below ground services are being moved out of the way of North East Link.
Find out more about current works and the early works program.
Traffic modelling shows that there will be no increase in traffic in the Hoddle Street grid as a result of North East Link.
A small number of vehicles are predicted to use North East Link to access the city, but these won’t be new trips. They would be vehicles already using arterial roads (such as Lower Heidelberg Road) to get to the city that would redistribute onto North East Link and an upgraded Eastern Freeway to take advantage of faster travel times.
All main traffic lanes will be 100 km/h The speed limit in the tunnels will be 80 km/h.
North East Link will apply a noise standard of 63dB(A), which is consistent with the toughest standard used in Victoria. A strict lower night time noise standard of 58dB(A) also applies. To meet the project noise standard, existing noise walls will need to be upgraded and new noise walls built in most areas along the project.
Noise walls will be designed to meet the project’s Urban Design Strategy () and there will be opportunities for the community to comment when designs are released this year.
Spark has been selected as the preferred bidder to deliver the tunnelling package. Spark comprises WeBuild, GS Engineering and Construction, CPB Contractors, China Construction Oceania, Ventia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments, DIF and Pacific Partnerships.
The new tunnels will protect homes and sensitive environmental areas including the Yarra River, Banyule Flats and Warringal Parklands.
The tunnelling package will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership. We’ll now work with the preferred bidder to negotiate a final contract and finalise their concept design for North East Link – ready to share details with the community before the end of the year.
Once the tunnelling package is awarded, the project will go out to market for other key elements of North East Link including a massive overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, the completion of the M80 Ring Road and more than 25 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.
The community will get a chance to have a further say on the design of their local area through the Urban Design and Landscape Plans for the project.
North East Link is Victoria’s largest ever road project and we’re taking the time now, at the very front end, to get the best possible design for Victoria and the local community. We’re also ensuring we build this large, complex project in smart ways.
In late 2020 we made changes to the tender process to include a concept design for the entire North East Link project and a detailed design for the tunnels, which the preferred bidder will also build.
The teams are updating their proposals now and using the added time to go the extra mile.