“People have been talking about connecting the Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway for decades but it’s always been put in the too hard basket – not anymore.
“This is the biggest transport project in Victoria’s history – our state needs it and only Labor will get it done,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
The route of the North East Link – estimated to cost up to $16.5 billion – will begin on the Eastern Freeway at Springvale Road where six extra dedicated lames will be constructed to eliminate some of eastern Melbourne’s bottlenecks.
Under the Victorian Government, the expanded Eastern Freeway section will remain toll-free.
To the west, the freeway will be connecting to a new six lane tunnel at Bulleen with local underground connections at Banksia St and Manningham Road.
This five-kilometre tunnel will run deep under the Yarra River which protects parkland and residential areas that are environmentally sensitive.
Lower Plenty Road will have a local connection, with the North East Link running north beside the existing Greensborough Highway.
An interactive map of the North East link can be found here.
Once this project is completed, travel times between Melbourne’s north and south will be reduced by up to 30 minutes in each direction. People travelling to Melbourne Airport from the south and east will also see an improvement in travel time.
Congestion will be reduced on local roads in the north eastern suburbs, with about 15,000 trucks taken off local streets daily. More than 9,000 vehicles will also be removed from hotspots like Rosanna Road.
“The North East Link will take 15,000 trucks off local roads, create thousands of jobs and deliver massive travel time savings for drivers,” Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said.
Detailed design for the North East Link will now be underway together with the business case, including the final cost estimates, and will be publicly released ahead of the Victorian Budget 2018/19.
This project is expected to create up to 10,000 jobs for the region. The procurement and planning process is set to begin in 2018 before a preferred builder is selected in 2019.
Major construction works are expected to commence in 2020.
What do you think of the preferred route for the North East Link? Leave a comment down below.
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Source: Premier of Victoria