This is one small step on a long journey to a shorter trip, but it is an important step – this is an important project.
Melbourne needs a second crossing, Melbourne needs additional congestion relief, and we believe the East-West Link is a critical project – and we committed $15 million in the Budget.
We are going to use that $15 million to do the geotechnical work, to commence the business case and start the work on the East-West Link.
And this project, we believe, will be good for jobs, good for transport in this state, and we look forward to getting and winning Commonwealth support in the future, but this geotechnical work will start from today.
MINISTER FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
As you can appreciate, the Eastern Freeway - somewhere in the order of 150,000 vehicles using it on a daily basis and they come to an abrupt halt in the centre of the city.
This particular project over coming months will involve significant geotechnical work, basically involve drilling somewhere in the order of 50 hole to a depth of around about 60 metres to inform the business case in terms of what the rock profile is, where the water table lays and any other relevant information that can feed into the business case so we get an opportunity to take that to the market and inform the market in terms of what the profile of the project is.
Along with that, there will also be significant flora and fauna investigations being carried out.
A lot of this work will take place along Alexandra Parade, also in and around the Parkville area.
We expect that this will take somewhere in the order of eight to 12 months, depending on what the geotech studies determine, and that, as I say, will inform the business case going forward.
We will make sure the community are very well informed as we go through this process.
As we are drilling in individual areas, neighbouring properties, both commercial and residential will be informed about the work that is being undertaken and will be informed by the project going forward.
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