New milestone reached on massive North East Link project in VIC

Monica Gameng   |   February 25, 2021
M80 Ring Road / North East Link (cr: North East Link Project)

Victoria's largest road project – the North East Link – marks a new major milestone with the first of three mini tunnel boring machines (TBMs) arriving on site. This is part of the upcoming Autumn construction blitz for transport infrastructure. 

The 40-tonne mini TBM was transported to Melbourne from Queensland and it is now set to begin digging approximately six storeys underground to help move the 1.8-kilometre Yarra East Main Sewer in Bulleen to give way to the construction of North East Link. 

The mini TBMs have a remote access function that allows technicians based overseas to provide technical support for the TBMs during the works. 

“Our first mini TBM is getting to work as we get on and build Victoria's biggest road project. 

“Our $80 billion road and rail big build is critical to our recovery from the pandemic – delivering the projects we need for the future, supporting thousands of jobs,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said. 

As works ramp up, a series of lane and road closures on Eastern Freeway, Greensborough Road, Bulleen Road as well as other roads in and around Bulleen will be implemented throughout Autumn. In addition, two water mains in Bulleen and Balwyn North will be moved as part of the project to enable big upgrades to the Eastern Freeway to get underway. 

“The North East Link not only slashes travel times in Melbourne's north, south and east – it is creating thousands of jobs and time when Victoria needs them most. 

“Over Autumn, our massive infrastructure works continue across the state – from the TBM underground in the city centre to the roundabout at the end of your street, we're getting it done,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. 


The approximately $16 billion North East Link project will connect an upgraded Eastern Freeway to the M80 Ring Road in the north-east, with the Eastern Freeway connecting to the North East Link via a new interchange next to Bulleen Road. 

From there, the North East Link will continue into a 6-kilometre-long tunnel that heads north with interchanges at Manningham Road and Lower Plenty Road. The tunnel will then extend to Blamey Road and onwards north in a deep trench adjacent Greensborough Road. 

Finally, North East Link will emerge just past Watsonia Station and connect to two new interchanges at Grimshaw Street and the M80 Ring Road. 

This massive transport infrastructure project is anticipated to create up to 10,000 jobs as well as slash up to 35 minutes from travel times and take trucks off local roads once it opens to traffic. 

Major construction on North East Link is due to commence in late 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2027. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; North East Link Project (1, 2, 3

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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