The Andrews Labor Government will build North East Link – the missing link in Melbourne’s road network that will finally complete the Metropolitan Ring Road.
The project will be kick-started with $35 million for business case development, consultation and route selection complete by 2018, and planning approval and tender processes beginning that year.
The Labor 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.
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.
The project is expected to take around ten years to complete, create more than 5,000 direct jobs, and cost up to $10 billion, funded by a mixture of government contributions and tolls, with final funding arrangements determined as part of the detailed planning process.
The North East Link has been put in the too-hard basket by successive governments, despite remaining as the RACV’s number one road priority for years.
Infrastructure Victoria have identified the North East Link as Victoria’s next priority transport infrastructure project in their historic 30-year Infrastructure Strategy, handed down on Thursday.
The project will be the vital next step in the Labor Government’s rebuilding of Victoria, with more than $30 billion of upgrades to roads and rail underway to get Victorians home safer and sooner and create tens of thousands of jobs.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“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.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“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.”