Preferred contractor announced for VIC North East Link tunnelling work

Monica Gameng   |   June 25, 2021
Aerial view of Eastern Freeway and Bulleen Road (cr: Victoria's Big Build)

The North East Link – Victoria’s largest road project – has reached another major milestone with the announcement of a preferred bidder to deliver the tunnelling package. 

Spark has been chosen to undertake the tunnelling package of works. Spark is comprised of WeBuild, GS Engineering and Construction, CPB Contractors, China Construction Oceania, Ventia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments, DIF and Pacific Partnerships. 

“The North East Link is a significant road project that will create thousands of local jobs, cut travel times for commuters and freight and take trucks off local roads, improving congestion and safety particularly for communities in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs. 

“This project is one of many critical infrastructure projects to receive funding from the Morrison Government as part of its record $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s world-leading economic recovery,” Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said. 

The tunnelling package – which is being delivered as a Public Private Partnership – will include the construction of the three-lane twin tunnels as well as key interchanges. The new twin tunnels will ensure that homes and sensitive environmental areas such as the Yarra River, Banyule Flats and Warringal Parklands are protected. 

Following the announcement of a preferred bidder, the State Government will now negotiate a final contract with Spark and get works going to finalise the concept design for North East Link. Details of the concept design will be shared to the community before the end of 2021. 

Construction will commence on the tunnelling package after the contract has been officially awarded to Spark later this year. 

Other key work packages will be released to market once the tunnelling contract has been awarded. Other key packages include upgrading the Eastern Freeway, delivery of a dedicated busway, completion of the M80 Ring Road and delivery of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths. 

“This is another important step for the North East Link, as we continue to build the projects Victorians in the north east need to be better connected to services, jobs and opportunities. 

“Fixing the missing link will get trucks off local roads as well as providing a much-improved route for interstate, regional and metropolitan freight vehicles,” Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said. 


The North East Link development will comprise of: 

  • A massive upgrade to the Eastern Freeway 
  • Melbourne’s first dedicated busway 
  • A new park and ride in Bulleen 
  • More than 25 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths 

Once completed, the North East Link will connect the M80 Ring Road to an upgraded Eastern Freeway, removing up to 15,000 trucks off local roads daily. This missing link will also reduce journey times by approximately 35 minutes between Melbourne’s north and south east for the 135,000 vehicles that will use it each day. 

This project is anticipated to create and support over 10,000 jobs, with 10 per cent of total working hours to be done by apprentices, trainees or cadets – which is part of the State Government’s Local Jobs First Policy. 

The $15.8 billion North East Link development is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments. 

Source: Premier of Victoria – Media Centre; Victoria’s Big Build (1, 2

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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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