North East Link is more than just the state’s longest road tunnels – we’re bringing 3 big road projects together.
We’re connecting the Eastern Freeway to the new 6.5km North East Link tunnels from Bulleen to Watsonia. The new tunnels and freeway upgrades will link Melbourne’s east up to the M80 Ring Road in Greensborough, cutting travel times by 35 minutes and taking 15,000 trucks off local roads a day.
We’re also doing more for the local community as we deliver these 3 massive projects. We’ve invested millions of dollars in upgrades to sports grounds at local schools, clubs and playing fields. Over the life of the project, we’ll support the community through $10 million worth of community grants. We’ll also create a greener north east – delivering 50 MCGs of new community parklands and open space across the north east.
North East Link
Victoria’s longest twin road tunnels will stretch 6.5km from Watsonia to Bulleen, taking cars and trucks under instead of through suburbs. We’ll also create 5 MCGs of parklands along Banyule Creek at Borlase Reserve and a new 2km tree-lined boulevard on Greensborough Road.
M80 Ring Road Completion
We’re completing the M80 Ring Road, with 5 new lanes and smart technology, new interchange and a seamless connection to North East Link. Two landscaped bridges will make it easier for locals to get to the Watsonia station, shops and community spaces. Find out more on the Big Build Roads website.
Eastern Freeway Upgrades
Upgrades to the Eastern Freeway include new express lanes, modernised traffic management technology and Melbourne’s first dedicated busway. This major upgrade will reduce travel times and improve public transport in Melbourne’s east. We’ll also build new and upgraded walking and cycling paths, bridges and underpasses, revitalise wetlands and waterways, and plant thousands of new trees and plants. The Eastern Freeway Upgrades will be delivered in 3 stages, with major works from Burke Road to Tram Road starting in 2024. Find out more on the Big Build Roads website.
Who will build North East Link?
In late 2021, we appointed Spark to build the North East Link tunnels from Watsonia to Bulleen. This includes Victoria's longest road tunnels, interchanges at Lower Plenty Road and Manningham Road, new parklands, wetlands, bike and walking paths and improvements to local roads. Works are in full swing as we prepare for tunnelling to start in 2024.
In late 2022, 2 world-class consortia were selected as the preferred bidders for the overhaul of the Eastern Freeway and the completion of the M80 Ring Road. In October 2023, Urban Design and Landscape Plans (UDLPs) were exhibited for community feedback for the first stage of the Eastern Freeway Upgrades from Burke to Tram roads and to complete the M80 Ring Road in Greensborough. We’ll review the submissions received and use them to finalise the UDLPs, we’ll then submit the UDLPs to the Minister for Planning for approval.
UDLPs for the remaining stages of the Eastern Freeway Upgrades, from Hoddle Street to Burke Road, and from Tram Road to Springvale Road, will be on exhibition from 2024 and we’ll be seeking feedback on these.
We’re also going out to market for other elements of North East Link, including the Eastern Busway and surrounding sections of the walking and cycling paths.