Four corridor options (pictured) have been shortlisted for Melbourne’s North East Link, a toll road covering some 40km that may cost anywhere between US$6.3bn and $18bn.
The Victorian government say the project will "slash congestion in Melbourne’s northeast, stop the rat-runs and take trucks off local roads, creating more than 5,000 jobs".
The four corridors have been chosen after "geotechnical investigations, traffic modelling, environment studies and discussions with community groups, businesses and local residents". Each has been assessed against a range of measures including key local concerns such as reducing congestion and getting trucks off residential roads, as well as the impact on urban areas and the environment.Â
All begin at the Ring Road in Greensborough and connect to either the Eastern Freeway or EastLink, and all will involve tunnels, new surface roads and bridges. About $79m of funding has already been awarded to the project for design, planning and preconstruction works.
Daniel Andrews, the prime minister of Victoria, said: "For decades the North East Link has been put in the too hard basket – this is the missing link Melbourne desperately needs.
"We said we would look at all options and that’s exactly what we’ve done. This is about making sure we get this project right."
The Victorian government is expected to determine the preferred corridor by the end of the year. Construction contracts are due to be signed in 2019, with work commencing in 2020.
Image courtesy of the Victorian government