Contractors are being invited by the government of Victoria to apply to deliver the AU$200m (£110m) early-works package, expected to start construction in 2020 after environmental and planning approvals are in place. The government is also calling for builders for the AU$7bn-AU$9bn (£4bn-£5bn) primary package, which involves construction of the tunnels. This procurement process will take 18 months to complete.
North East Link will build the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network and increase the capacity of the Eastern Freeway.
The expressions of interest will help the government to create a shortlist of potential bidders so that it can invite detailed tenders as planning and environment requirements become clear. The project still needs planning approvals; the environment effects statement (EES) still needs to go on exhibition for public comment and submissions to an independent panel. This is scheduled to happen mid-2019.
Construction for North East Link is expected to start in 2020 after the EES process is complete and planning approvals have been received.