The Victorian Government is delivering the state’s ‘biggest ever road project’, with the first contracts to deliver the Eastern Freeway Upgrade and M80 Ring Road Upgrade now signed.
On 15 December, Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Danny Pearson, announced the new contracts for the two biggest freeway overhauls in Victoria’s history, which form a vital part of the North East Link Project.
Nexus, made up of Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction, Symal Infrastructure, WSP Australia and Arcadis Australia Pacific– has been appointed to deliver the first part of the $5.7 billion overhaul of the Eastern Freeway from Burke to Tram Road.
AMA, made up of Acciona Construction Australia, AECOM Australia and MACA Civil will deliver the $3.8 billion M80 Ring Road Upgrade.
The North East Link will take 15,000 trucks a day off local roads, save 35 minutes in travel time from east to the outer north and create 12,000 jobs.
Through six years of detailed design and planning work, significant additional scope has been added to the North East Link Project in response to community feedback.
This includes a longer tunnel, a major upgrade of the M80 Ring Road, better interchanges and more public open space.
The Government’s upgrade includes more than 45 kilometres of new lanes and new traffic management systems along the freeway to deliver 11-minute travel time savings between Springvale Road and Hoddle Street.
In the north, a major upgrade will finally complete the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough, adding nearly 15 kilometres of new lanes from Plenty Road to the new North East Link as well as a more efficient interchange at Grimshaw Street.
Work is also continuing on the North East Link Tunnels, with tunnelling to begin on the 6.5 kilometre stretch from next year.
The first tunnel boring machine is being assembled with a launch area now built on the eastern side of Greensborough road.
In a statement, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) welcomed the long-term plans for the North East Link.
According to VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, it will revolutionise Melbourne’s freight movements.
“The North East Link will fundamentally change how freight is moved around Melbourne and to and from the south east of the state when it’s completed,” he said.
“When we, along with the RACV, advocated for the then Andrews Labor Government to complete the missing link in Melbourne’s ring road, it was because we knew freight operators were desperate for a freeway connection that mitigated going into Melbourne to get out of Melbourne.
“North East Link solves this by diverting traffic around the city on a technologically modern and safe roadway, which also returns arterial roads to commuter traffic.”
The North East Link tunnels, Eastern Freeway Upgrade and M80 Ring Road Update are expected to open in 2028.
“This project has been talked about for 60 years – we’re getting on and building the much-needed missing link because families in our growing state need it and jobs depend on it,” said Premier Jacinta Allan.
In other news, Upper Hunter Shire Council has announced significant progress in the MR358 Merriwa to Willow Tree Road project, which will bolster the local freight industry in New South Wales upon completion.
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