Works are in full swing as we prepare for tunnelling to start from mid-2024.

In Watsonia, at the tunnels boring machine (TBM) launch box area near Lenola Street, the TBM pieces have started arriving – with the first of over 20 superload deliveries on site. The 40-metre-deep launch box is almost fully excavated and we are starting to build the 550-tonne gantry crane that will be used to lower massive TBM pieces from ground level into the box.

We will launch both of the TBMs on their journey from Watsonia towards Bulleen, from the east side of Greensborough Road between Yallambie and Watsonia roads.

A large acoustic shed is nearing completion at Winsor Reserve in Macleod. This will be where the dirt and rock dug out from the tunnels is loaded onto trucks. All dirt excavated will be managed in line with EPA guidelines and will be taken off-site before it is either reused or disposed of. The enclosed conveyor belt is coming together with the 35-metre bridge structure over Greensborough Road now installed.

At the Lower Plenty Road interchange, we are working steadily on the large foundation walls that will eventually form the new on and off ramps to the North East Link tunnels near Oban Way in Yallambie. After we finish this section of the tunnel, we’ll build the new Borlase Park Reserve on top of it, returning a vibrant green space to the local community.

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.

Works are full steam ahead in Bulleen, as we get on with the construction of the tunnel walls at both our Manningham Road and Trinity Grammar Marles Playing Fields work sites.

Manningham Road interchange works are continuing and we have made good progress building the new Bulleen Road lanes that are expected to open from late 2023.

Traffic arrangements will change in the area as we continue to complete these works. This will ensure we can keep traffic moving on Bulleen Road.

We're also overhauling the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road. Upgrades will include new lanes, smart traffic management technology, walking and cycling paths and a seamless connection with North East Link.

Urban Landscape and Planning designs for the Eastern Freeway Upgrades and M80 Ring Road Completion were exhibited for comment later this year, and site investigations have started ahead of major construction from 2024. Visit the Big Build Roads website to find out more about these 2 projects.

Construction timelines

  • Early works for North East Link started in 2020.
  • Construction on the North East Link tunnels started in late 2022.
  • 2 delivery teams were appointed for the overhaul of the first part of the Eastern Freeway and the completion of the M80 Ring Road in late 2023.
  • Tunnelling for North East Link is expected to start from mid-2024.
  • Construction on the Eastern Freeway Upgrades and M80 Ring Road Completion is expected to start from 2024.
  • North East Link opens in 2028.