The Victorian Government is promising to construct the long-awaited North East Link, a $10 billion priority project that will create 5,000 direct jobs and complete Melbourne’s Metropolitan Ring Road, if it is re-elected.
The 10-year project will start with $35 million for business case development, consultation and route selection expected to be complete by 2018, and planning approval and tender processes beginning that year.
The state government will not sign contracts before the election – giving the Victorian community their say on this vital project without binding future governments.
Instead, contracts will be signed and work started under a re-elected Labor government.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “This is it – the missing link that will connect our city – and we will get it done.
“When we build the missing link that completes the ring road, you’ll be able to drive from Ringwood to Tullamarine without stopping at a single traffic light.”
The North East Link has been delayed by successive governments, despite remaining as the RACV’s number one road priority for years.
Infrastructure Victoria has identified the North East Link as Victoria’s next priority transport infrastructure project in its 30-year Infrastructure Strategy.
The project will be spearheaded by a new expert North East Link Authority, overseen by the Victorian Coordinator General, under the same model used to progress the Metro Tunnel, the Western Distributor, and the removal of Melbourne’s 50 worst level crossings.
The project will slash travel time on congested roads in Melbourne’s north, south, and east. It will take thousands of trucks off local streets in the north-eastern suburbs, and connect the southern and eastern suburbs to Tullamarine Airport.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, said, “Joining the ring road is a no brainer to take thousands of cars and trucks off local streets and congested freeways – but governments have put it in the too-hard basket for decades.”
“The Andrews Labor Government will build the North East Link – the only project that can actually slash congestion in Melbourne’s north, south, and east, while the Western Distributor fixes traffic in the west.”
The project will be funded by a mixture of government contributions and tolls, with final funding arrangements determined as part of the detailed planning process.