Project Timeline

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

NEL will be assessed through an Environment Effects Statement (EES), Victoria’s most stringent and transparent planning approvals process.

Construction for North East Link is expected to start in 2020 and we’ve asked the best builders in Australia and from around the world to express their interest in $200 million of early works and $7-9 billion of primary works, including building Victoria’s longest twin road tunnels.


Selecting the project corridor

We conducted specialist engineering, environmental and social investigations and had conversations with the community and stakeholders to identify where North East Link would be built. We also started work on the project business case. Learn more about the corridor options.

In November 2017 we reported back on what we’d heard so far from communities and announced the North East Link corridor with an early map with key project highlights.

Read a summary of the feedback in our August to October 2017 Report. PDF, 1.5 MB


Business case

In May 2018, the North East Link business case was publicly released.

Planning studies, project design and community engagement

Throughout 2018 we designed North East Link and worked on the specialist studies required for planning approvals. Planning approvals for North East Link will be through an Environment Effects Statement (EES) – Victoria’s most stringent planning process.

April 2018 – design and EES update #1

In April 2018 we released an update on early project design work, an online map and held eight community drop ins between Saturday 21 April and Tuesday 1 May. We received feedback on our work on the project so far and gained a deeper understanding of what communities wanted North East Link to achieve. Online feedback was open until 5 June, 2018.

Read a summary of the feedback in our April to May 2018 Community Engagement Report.

September 2018 – design and EES update #2

In September 2018 we released a second design update, including how community feedback has informed changes and our planning studies.

North East Link out to market

In November 2018, North East Link went out to market. Currently, we are seeking expressions of interest from builders for the $200 million early works package and the $7-9 billion primary package.


Early 2019

There were technical studies throughout the project area to get information about existing ground conditions across Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs to inform the Environment Effects Statement (EES).

We continue to engage with communities and local businesses.

Mid 2019

The Environment Effects Statement, including a reference project, was on display for public comment from 10 April - 7 June 2019.

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

Additional sections of the project will be released to market for construction bids.

Late 2019

The Minister for Planning will prepare an Assessment of the EES.

We expect a decision regarding planning approvals to be received towards the end of 2019.

Construction bids will be evaluated towards the end of the year.


Subject to planning approvals, construction for North East Link is expected to start in 2020.