THE Victorian Government last week announced an allocation of $100 million to complete the design, planning, and preconstruction works of the proposed North East Link project, which will connect the Metropolitan Ring Road (M80) at Greensborough, with either the Eastern Freeway or Eastlink.
The funding – to be provided as part of the 2017-18 State Budget – will ensure the North East Link Authority can start work immediately, with geotechnical investigations starting at 24 sites across Melbourne's north-eastern suburbs.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the extensive geotechnical investigations will provide valuable information about the conditions under the earth, including the type and strength of rock under the ground and the location of ground water.
Other detailed planning and engineering work will include field investigations, equipment procurement, service investigations, site establishment and upgrades to existing infrastructure.
"These expert engineering, environmental and social investigations will help determine the best design for the project, with a focus on protecting existing urban areas and minimising the impact to the environment," Mr Andrews said.
Detailed design and engagement will take place throughout the year, with procurement starting next year, contracts signed in 2019, and construction beginning soon after, which is expected to take up to 10 years and cost up $10 billion.