North East Link will finally connect Melbourne's freeway network between the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road in Melbourne’s north-east. The project includes major upgrades to the Eastern Freeway from Springvale Road including Melbourne’s first dedicated busway from Doncaster towards the city.
North East Link will be a safe and efficient freeway connection for up to 135,000 vehicles a day, slashing travel times, getting trucks off local roads and linking key growth areas in the north and south-east.
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 at a new interchange next to Bulleen Road.
North East Link will then continue into a 6-kilometre tunnel heading north, with interchanges at Manningham Road and Lower Plenty Road. The tunnel will extend to Blamey Road and then keep travelling north in a deep trench running next to Greensborough Road. North East Link will rise to surface level road just past Watsonia Station and connect to two new interchanges at Grimshaw Street and the M80 Ring Road.
Early works for North East Link have started, with around 100 above and below ground services including power, water, gas, sewer and telecommunications lines to be moved out of the way. Major construction for North East Link will start in 2021 with North East Link expected to open to traffic in 2027.
You can view our timeline here.
The business case for North East Link estimates the project to cost around $16 billion.
The full cost of upgrades to the Eastern Freeway are 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, are also included.
Yes. North East Link will be funded by a combination of government contributions and tolls. North East Link will be tolled but there will be no new tolls on existing routes. This includes no tolls to use the Eastern Freeway, Greensborough Highway/Bypass and the M80 Ring Road.
Tolling points and prices for North East Link have not yet been finalised. Prices are expected to be in line with other tolls around metropolitan Melbourne.
We have been working hard to minimise acquisition as much as possible. We’ve been able to bring acquisition numbers down to 36 residential homes and around 100 businesses, and we’ll encourage bidders to bring numbers down further.
Our landowner team has been in contact with affected owners and businesses, and we will continue to keep them updated throughout the planning and design process.
In recognition of the difficult and uncertain circumstances coronavirus has created, the start of the formal acquisition process has been extended until the middle of the year.
No Notices of Intention to Acquire (NOITAs) will be issued to residents and businesses until the end of June 2020, unless people request to start the process now. Issuing a NOITA is the first step in the acquisition process - read more.
Traffic modelling shows that there will be no increase in traffic in the Hoddle Street grid as a result of North East Link.
A small number of vehicles are predicted to use North East Link to access the city, but these won’t be new trips. They would be vehicles already using arterial roads (such as Lower Heidelberg Road) to get to the city that would redistribute onto North East Link and an upgraded Eastern Freeway to take advantage of faster travel times.
All main traffic lanes will be 100km/hr. The speed limit in the tunnels will be 80km/hr.
North East Link will apply a noise standard of 63dB(A), which is consistent with the toughest standard used in Victoria. To meet the project noise standard, new noise walls would need to be built in most areas along the project alignment.
To achieve the noise standard, some noise walls may need to be upgraded and new noise walls would need to be built in some places where there are currently none.
In response to community feedback, we are working to keep as many of the existing textured concrete noise walls along the Eastern Freeway as possible to maintain local character. To improve noise conditions for residents we’ll also upgrade the existing wooden noise walls along the sections of the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road, where works are planned as part of North East Link.