North East Link - Latest Designs

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North East Link will fix the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network, connecting the M80 with an upgraded Eastern Freeway. It will be a safe and efficient freeway connection for up to 135,000 vehicles a day, linking key growth areas in the north and south-east.

The new freeway connection will:

  • Cut travel times by up to 35 minutes
  • Take 15,000 trucks off local roads a day
  • Deliver more than 25 kilometres of new walking and cycling paths
  • Create more than 10,000 Victorian jobs

North East Link includes:

  • Victoria’s longest road tunnels: three-lane twin tunnels travelling for six kilometres, protecting properties and the sensitive Banyule Flats area
  • Interchanges at the M80 Ring Road, Grimshaw Street, Lower Plenty Road, Manningham Road and Bulleen Road
  • Melbourne’s first dedicated busway with express lanes along the Eastern Freeway from Doncaster towards the city.

The idea for a North East Link was first considered in 1929. It is now identified as Victoria's priority road project by Infrastructure Victoria and will be the single biggest investment in road transport infrastructure in Victorian history.

Project timeline


In 2019, we’re working on planning approvals for the North East Link Project (NELP).

Planning approvals for NELP will be informed by the Environment Effects Statement (EES), Victoria’s most stringent and transparent impact assessment process. The project EES was completed and was on public display for 40 days (from 10 April to 7 June 2019).

The Minister for Planning appointed an independent panel to review the EES and public submissions received and make recommendations.

The EES public hearing for the North East Link Environment Effects Statement (EES) ended Monday 16 September.   

Hundreds of people attended the thirty four day hearing at the Veneto Club, Bulleen. More than two hundred people presented submissions to the independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) panel.

The IAC is now preparing a report of recommendations for the Minister for Planning. The report will be provided to the Minister within 30 business days of the completion of the public hearing.

The Minister will then make an assessment on the environmental effects of the project. A decision on planning approvals is expected in late 2019.


Early works for North East Link are expected to start in early 2020.


Construction for North East Link is expected to start by 2021.


North East Link is expected to open to traffic in 2027.

Project map - September 2018