$110m for fast-tracking of North East Link detailed plans in Victorian Budget

Up to 140 businesses and 75 homes in Melbourne’s northeast could be compulsorily acquired to build a road if the Andrews Government wins the next election.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a $110 million allocation in the budget to plan and design the North East Link, to put the project out to market within the first 100 days if re-elected.

VIDEO: North East Link – Budget Announcement

“This really is a critically important project and only a re-elected Labor government will deliver the North East Link,” he told reporters in Greensborough on Sunday.

“Without any doubt, this is the most important road project and the biggest road project in our state. This is all about making sure local roads are for local residents.”

The 26km North East Link will cost at least $16.5 billion and will connect the ring road in Greensborough, through Watsonia and Rosanna before connecting to the Eastern Freeway in Bulleen.

“Everybody who is impacted by this project has been spoken to and we do appreciate that this is a difficult and stressful time for them,” Mr Andrews said.

“We will be able to confirm for them very soon, in the next stage of detailed design and planning exactly what impacts there will be on all of those homes and all of those businesses.”

He said they had been in contact with residents for many months already.

The full business case is expected in the coming months, Mr Andrews said.

The North East Link will start at Springvale Road and includes a five-kilometre tunnel from Bulleen Road running below the Yarra River.

Motorists are expected to save 30 minutes in each direction if the road is built.

About 15,000 trucks and 9000 vehicles are expected to be taken off local hotspots -Rosanna Road, Lower Plenty Road and Fitzsimons Lane – through the project.

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said it would decongest the northeast of Melbourne.

Early works are expected to start next year, and full construction in 2020, if Labor is re-elected.

Source: North East Link, 9News