Laing O’Rourke and CPB in running for first contracts on Melbourne’s $11bn North East Link

A shortlist of two has been drawn up for the US$140m early works package of the $11.2bn North East Link road project in Melbourne.

Daniel Andrews, the Victoria state premier, and Jacinta Allan, the minister for transport infrastructure, announced that Laing O’Rourke and Hochtief subsidiary CPB were in the running for the work, which will start next year once planning approvals have been granted.

The works will involve delivering a range of power, water and other utility works to the scheme, the biggest in Victoria’s history.  

The main work on the scheme involves building a 6km tunnel under Banyule Flats and the Yarra River and the upgrading of the Eastern Freeway. Bidders are also being sought for the $5bn-$6.4bn design-and-build package for the tunnels.

Construction of the North East Link is due to start in 2020 for opening in 2027. When complete it will, according to the government of Victoria, cut travel times by 30 minutes, take 15,000 trucks off local roads, and link growth areas in the north and south-east.

Image: Morning tailback on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway, near Hoddle St exit (BlackCab/Creative Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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