The Victorian Government has identified the route for the North East Link - the biggest transport project in Victoria’s history.
Construction will begin in 2020, finally connecting the missing link in Melbourne’s Ring Road to the Eastern Freeway.
Video: North East Link: Victoria's Biggest Transport Project.
The project has been estimated to cost up to A$16.5 billion and is expected to create almost 10,000 jobs.
Travel times between Melbourne’s north and south will be cut by up to 30 minutes in each direction, with massive travel time savings for people travelling to Melbourne Airport from the south and east.
The North East Link will begin on the Eastern Freeway at Springvale Road where the capacity of the Eastern will be doubled with six extra dedicated lanes to eliminate some of eastern Melbourne’s worst bottlenecks.
The expanded Eastern Freeway section will remain toll-free.
Heading west, the mega-freeway will connect to a new six lane tunnel at Bulleen with local underground connections at Banksia Street and Manningham Road.
The five kilometre-long tunnel will then travel deep beneath the Yarra River, protecting environmentally sensitive parkland and residential areas.
The link will have a local connection at Lower Plenty Road. It will then run north alongside the existing Greensborough Highway - which will stay open for local traffic.
A new interchange will see the North East Link travel beneath Grimshaw Street in Watsonia, before connecting with the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough, which is being widened.
Congestion on local roads in the north eastern suburbs will also be reduced with up to 15,000 trucks taken off local streets a day and more than 9,000 vehicles taken off hotspots such as Rosanna Road.
Detailed design will now get underway and the business case, including finalising cost estimates, will be publicly released ahead of the Victorian Budget 2018/19.
Procurement and planning approval processes will also begin in 2018, ahead of a preferred builder being selected in 2019, and major construction starting in 2020.
For more information visit the North East Link.