What is the North East Link?

North East Link will finally complete the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network. It will be a modern new freeway connecting an upgraded Eastern Freeway to the M80 Ring Road in Melbourne’s north-east. The project will include much-needed upgrades to the Eastern Freeway from Springvale Road and a new Doncaster Busway public transport connection.

Where will it go?

North East Link will connect an upgraded Eastern Freeway to the M80 Ring Road in Melbourne’s north-east. The Eastern Freeway will connect to North East Link via a new interchange at Bulleen Road. North East Link will then quickly dive into a 5 kilometre tunnel heading north, emerging to connect at Manningham Road and Lower Plenty Road. North East Link will continue in a trench past Watsonia Station, and with connections to Grimshaw Street, before finally connecting to the M80 and Greensborough Bypass.

When will it be built?

We expect the project to take around ten years to complete, but it's too early to determine the exact timing. Planning approvals are expected to be complete in mid-2018 and a preferred builder will be selected in 2019.

How much will it cost?

The business case for North East Link estimates the project to cost around $16 billion.

The full cost of upgrades to the Eastern Freeway will be included in the project costs. All additional costs associated with making sure the North East Link fully integrates with the existing road network, including upgrades as well as connections to the M80, will also be included.

Will North East Link be tolled?

Yes. North East Link will be funded by a combination of government contributions and tolls. The new North East Link will be tolled but there will be no new tolls on existing routes. This includes no new tolls to use the Eastern Freeway, Greensborough Highway/Bypass and the M80 Ring Road.

We are looking at how to keep local roads available for local trips in our design work.

Will there be acquisitions?

One of our guiding principles for North East Link is to minimise impacts on communities, including homes.

As we design the project and go through planning and approvals, we’ll be looking at ways to minimise acquisition. This means it’s too early to say exactly how many properties might be affected until more design work is complete.

We’ve attempted to contact all residents and businesses with properties that could potentially be affected and will stay in touch with them as the project progresses. To protect their privacy, we won’t be releasing maps showing their homes or businesses.

If you think your property may be affected, please call us on 1800 105 105 so we can understand your concerns and stay in touch as the project progresses.

The formal acquisition process will not begin until planning approval has been granted, which may be mid to late 2019.

Learn more by reading our common questions about property acquisition fact sheet.

I've seen North East Link work sites. What are they doing?

We’re out doing geotechnical testing throughout the project area to get information about existing ground conditions across Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs. These are part of our studies for the Environment Effects Statement (EES). After the drilling is completed, sites will be restored.

Our teams are also out doing service proving works throughout mid to late 2018. Our teams will be locating underground services such as water, gas, telecommunications and electrical using walkovers and Non-Destructive Excavation (NDE).

If you would like to speak with us about these works you can call 1800 105 105 or email community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au anytime.