North-East Link: Superhighway through Melbourne’s east
10 Sep 2018
The Eastern Freeway will swell to more than 20 lanes at its widest point – rivalling some of the world’s widest roads – under the state government’s plans for its $15.8 billion North East Link.
In addition to the 14 carriageway lanes that will flow through Doncaster and Balwyn North when the road is complete, four emergency lanes, two bus lanes and on- and off-ramps will widen the road at the junction of Doncaster Road to as much as 94 metres.
The state government released more detailed plans on Sunday of the city’s “missing link” road, billed as Victoria’s biggest-ever road project and featuring nearly 5.8 kilometres of tunnels carrying six lanes of traffic.
The new road, which now has the support of both major political parties, will connect the Eastern Freeway to the M80 ring road.
The newly-released plans show a 1.2-kilometre lowered section along Greensborough Road. In response to concerns from residents, the government has also promised additional sound walls to reduce traffic noise.
The plans show a five-kilometre tunnel from Lower Plenty Road in Rosanna connecting to the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen Road.
But it is the behemoth new intersection at Doncaster that catches the eye, with its 14 lanes of traffic, four emergency, two bus lanes and on- and off-ramps rivalling some of the world’s widest roads.
Labor has promised the road would go out to tender within 100 days if is re-elected in November, with construction to start in 2020 and the road to open in 2027.
Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday the link would be Victoria’s largest-ever road project and would create 10,000 jobs while under construction.
“It is a big project and it adds to an already enormous infrastructure agenda,” the Premier said.
“Something like 130,000 vehicles will use the North East Link every day, that’s not only going to make it one of our biggest road projects but one of our busiest roads.”