Victorian Government's new North East Link Authority starts up
Tasked with the planning and procurement of North East Link
North East Link will connect the Metropolitan Ring Road with the Eastern Freeway and EastLink.
EastLink made formal submissions to both Infrastructure Australia and Infrastructure Victoria in support of completing the "missing link" in Melbourne's Ring Road, by developing a new North East Link to connect the Metropolitan Ring Road with the Eastern Freeway and EastLink. These submissions highlighted the many economic benefits that a new North East Link would bring not just to Melbourne, but to Victoria's Regions as well.
Infrastructure Australia confirmed the "missing link" to be a corridor of national importance. Then at the end of last year, Infrastructure Victoria's 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy confirmed that a new North East Link will need to be built as the next major priority in Melbourne's freeway network.
The Victorian Government is now rapidly setting up the new North East Link Authority, and recruiting the Authority's team of engineers, designers and specialists.
This includes the appointment of Duncan Elliott as the Authority's new CEO, whose appointment was announced recently. Mr Elliott is a qualified engineer with decades of experience in Victorian roads, including stints as a Regional Director. More recently he has been General Manager of Membership and Rewards at the RACV.
Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan has said, "Duncan is a road expert – he has a passion for working with the community, and will bring local knowledge as a resident of Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs.”
We expect the North East Link Authority will work through the planning and procurement process for North East Link in a series of phases.
Phase 1: This year, 2017
The project Business Case will be developed, and input will be sought into the project, its objectives and the best corridor. At the end of this phase, a preferred corridor will be released.
The new North East Link needs to connect the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough with either the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road, or EastLink at either Ringwood or further afield. This is a massive and highly complex project, and the new North East Link Authority needs to do the necessary planning and technical work, in conjunction with other stakeholders including the community, local councils and EastLink to find the best option.
Phase 2: Early 2018
Input will be sought into the project details and proposed alignment along the preferred corridor.
Phase 3: Mid 2018
The complete planning studies will be released and there will be further opportunities for participation in the formal planning approvals process. Project procurement will begin, with the project released to the market and the beginning of a competitive tender process.
Phase 4: Late 2018 onwards
The necessary State and Commonwealth approvals will be sought, which may include an Independent Planning Panel to consider the planning studies. Project procurement will continue to run in parallel to the approvals process.
Detailed design and construction activities will proceed following a successful procurement process.
Infrastructure Victoria has estimated the cost of the North East Link project to be up to $10 billion. It is expected to take around 10 years to complete.