The new business case for the North East Link shows that the project will give workers in Melbourne’s north east access to 56,000 new job opportunities and deliver $12.5 billion in Gross State Product to the economy.
The business case found that the project’s benefit to cost ratio increases to $1.40 for every dollar spent when wider economic benefits, such as better freight connections, are considered.
Once built, the missing link between the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road will take 15,000 trucks off local roads and cut travel times by up to 30 minutes.
Upgrades to the Eastern Freeway will streamline traffic, reduce congestion and reduce travel times, and the new Doncaster Busway will deliver 30 per cent travel time savings for buses.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “People have talked about this project for decades but the time for talk is over. We’re ready to put this massive, congestion busting project out to market within 100 days after the election.”
Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, said, “The business case shows that North East Link will relieve congestion throughout the north east – taking thousands of cars a day off key arterials like Greensborough Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Rosanna Road and Manningham Road.”
The project is projected to take 32,000 vehicles per day off Greensborough Road, 14,000 off Fitzsimons Lane, 9,000 off Rosanna Road and 8,000 off Manningham Road.
Business case studies also found there would be about 100 fewer crashes every year on local roads in the north east.
Consultation has been underway since the project was first announced and community input has informed designs.
The business case has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia.
North East Link will be put out to market within the first 100 days of a re-elected Labor Government so that construction can start in 2020. The road is expected to open in 2027.