Problem to be addressed
The M80 Metropolitan Ring Road connects major population centres in Melbourne’s north and west to the CBD and elsewhere, and facilitates access to Melbourne’s port, airports and other major road corridors. Congestion on the M80 is increasing average travel times in the area, which imposes significant costs on business. Congestion also produces negative social and environmental impacts as a result of increased travel time and fuel consumption, and higher vehicle crash rates. Projected population and economic growth in centres to the west and north of Melbourne is likely to increase these problems.
The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit identified capacity constraints along the corridor as a significant problem, and found that without additional investment the annual cost of congestion along the corridor is projected to grow from $86 million in 2011 to $161 million in 2031.
The project proposes to complete three sections of the freeway that have yet to be upgraded. These are:
- Plenty Road to Greensborough Highway (2.4 km)
- Princes Freeway to Western Highway (7.9 km)
- Sydney Road to Edgars Road (4 km).
The project would widen the existing road to a minimum of three through-lanes in each direction, with auxiliary lanes between interchanges where required, and implement Intelligent Transport Systems infrastructure.
Construction of the sections from Plenty Road to Greensborough Highway, and Sydney Road to Edgars Road, is expected to start in 2019 and be completed in late 2021.
Economic, social and environmental value
The project will deliver significant economic benefits in the form of travel-time savings and associated social and environmental benefits, including reduced fuel consumption costs and lower vehicle crash rates.
The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 2.0, with a net present value of $553 million (7% real discount rate).
Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2015 business case) $686.9 million (P50, nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution $500 million for four stages | State government contribution $178.4 million