North East Link

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Connectivity between M80 and M3 in outer north-east Melbourne
High Priority Project
North-east Melbourne, Vic
Fast-growing cities
Urban Congestion
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Medium term (5-10 years)
Proposed By
Victorian Government
Evaluation Date
18 October 2018

Problem to be addressed

There is currently a ‘missing link’ between the M80 Metropolitan Ring Road in Melbourne’s north and the M3 Eastern Freeway–EastLink in Melbourne’s east and south-east. The current route – using Greensborough Highway, Rosanna Road, Banksia Road and Bulleen Road, spanning approximately 9.5 km – is congested and operating close to capacity during peak periods, limiting commercial and freight transport activities.

Each day, these roads carry around 250,000 trips between the north-east and inner Melbourne, and around 340,000 orbital trips.

Further population growth in these areas, along with the future expansion of major industrial precincts in the north and south-east, will generate even higher traffic volumes, making local road congestion worse. Orbital trips are forecast to reach 440,000 per day by 2036, an increase of nearly 30%.

Project description

The North East Link project would create a new 11 km connection (including 5 km of three-lane twin tunnels) between the M80 Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough and the M3 Eastern Freeway at Doncaster. The project also includes:

  • approximately 2.3 km of upgrades to the M80, and approximately 9.7 km of upgrades to the Eastern Freeway
  • five new interchanges
  • around 10.6 km of new bus lanes
  • upgrades to Bulleen Road
  • new walking and cycling paths.

Implementing managed motorway technology on the Eastern Freeway will ensure the freeway integrates effectively with the North East Link and keeps pace with increasing traffic volumes and changing travel demands.

Economic, social and environmental value

The project is expected to deliver large economic benefits, including travel time and reliability improvements, and environmental and safety benefits.

The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio for the project is 1.3, with a net present value of $2,187 million (7% real discount rate).

Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2018 business case) $15,790 million (P90, nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution The Australian Government committed $1,750 million in the 2018-19 Budget | State government contribution To be determined | Private sector contribution To be determined