Works on the North East Link have reached a major milestone, with vehicles now able to travel on the new Bulleen Road lanes ahead of schedule.
A new section of Bulleen Road has been built creating space for the new tunnel entrance and Yarra Link green bridge and allowing traffic to keep moving as tunnelling is set to get underway in the new year.
Drivers can travel on the new 700m section of road that includes a safer signalised intersection at Bulleen Park Access Road.
A crew of more than 200 people worked to build the new lanes between Thompsons Road and Trinity Grammar, re-using 60,000t of soil from North East Link’s Watsonia site and more than 8,000t of asphalt for the northbound and southbound lanes.
The work was planned to minimise disruptions to the community and maintain access to the Veneto Club, local schools and shops, homes, and sporting grounds.
Construction teams will continue to work over summer to prepare for tunnelling – which will include assembling the massive tunnel boring machines (TBMs), building the TBM launch and retrieval boxes, and setting up the temporary traffic staging for the Manningham Road interchange.
Once complete in 2028, the North East Link is expected to slash travel times by up to 35 minutes and take 15,000 trucks a day off local roads in the north east.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Danny Pearson, said that this is another significant milestone for the North East Link as the project gets ready to launch tunnel boring machines in 2024.
“The new section of Bulleen Road means we have the space for the North East Link tunnel entrance – bringing us another step closer to move traffic below ground and give local roads back to the local people,” Mr Pearson said.
Member for North-Eastern Metropolitan, Shaun Leane, said, “This important work will keep Bulleen Road moving as we get on with building the missing link Melbourne needs to slash congestion.”
Featured image: The newly opened lanes of Bulleen Road. Image: Victorian Government.