North East Link

About the Project

The North East Link (NEL) will be the biggest road transport project in Victoria’s history – finally fixing the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network.

The project 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 will remain toll-free.

Heading west, the freeway will connect to a new six lane tunnel at Bulleen with local underground connections at Banksia Street and Manningham Road.  A 6.1 km long tunnel will then travel beneath the Yarra River, protecting environmentally sensitive parkland and residential areas. 

There will be a connection at Lower Plenty Road, with the North East Link then running alongside the existing Greensborough Highway, which will stay open for local traffic.  An interchange will see the North East Link travel beneath Grimshaw Street in Watsonia, before connecting to the M80 Ring Road at Greensborough, which is also being widened.

NEL will also deliver the Doncaster Busway, Melbourne's first dedicated high-speed busway, between the Doncaster 'park and ride' and Hoddle Street which will allow faster and more frequent bus services from Doncaster to the inner city along the Eastern Freeway.

Key benefits

The Business Case for NEL reports the results of preliminary assessments of the project’s economic, social, environmental and business benefits and impacts.  The anticipated benefits identified in the Business Case include:

Productive businesses: 

  • $250 million in economic value each year from better business connectivity
  • Businesses in the north east will have access to 62,000 more workers
  • $590 million increase in productivity from business clustering
  • Will attract 5,500 more jobs to businesses in the north east

Competitive supply chains:

  • $427million of economic value each year from better freight connectivity
  • 2% increase in connectivity between manufactures and suppliers
  • More line haul freight carried on HPFVs between the north and south east
  • $148 million reduction in vehicle operating costs each year for freight vehicles

Economic growth: 

  • $12.5 billion increase in Gross State Product (GSP) for Victoria
  • Will support 10,300 additional (net) jobs during construction
  • Will support 3,400 additional (net) jobs in Victoria each year during the operating period
  • $7.5 billion increase in Gross Regional Product (GRP) for the north east

Prosperous households: 

  • $324 million in economic value each year from better household connectivity
  • Workers in the north east will have access to 56,000 more job opportunities
  • Provide improved access to education for residents in the north east
  • Will attract 9,700 more people to live in the north east

Liveable neighbourhoods:  

  • $41 million in economic value each year from improved safety and amenity
  • 100 fewer crashes each year on local roads in the north east
  • $52 million in reduced pollution benefits for local areas each year
  • Healthier communities from more walking and cycling opportunities

Project status

The North East Link Project awarded the Early Works package in September 2019, for works including moving major power, water, gas, sewer and telecommunication lines. Construction work for this package is expected to commence in early 2020, subject to planning approvals.

Key Dates

November 2018 – Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) released for the Primary Package

September 2019 – Early Works contract award

Early 2020 - Early Works Construction commencement – Subject to planning approvals

Late 2019 – Mid 2020 – Primary Package Tender period

Late 2020 – Primary Package contract award

Local suppliers and contractors that are not part of a consortia directly tendering for the North East Link can register their details below and these details can then be passed on to tendering organisations during the procurement process for North East Link.

ICN Gateway Company Registration 

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(1) ICN Gateway Setup Wizard

(2) ICN Gateway User Guide

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Project at a glance

VIC Australia
Request for Proposal (RFP) Phase
North East Link Project
Est. $15.8b approx

Contact Details

John Sands
Industry Adviser
+61 3 9864 6728

Work Package
Full Scope EOI
Partial Scope EOI
Create EOICloses: 28 Jun 2022
Create EOI Closes: 28 Jun 2022
Note: The closing date/s for expressions of interest are subject to change.