The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed a $100 million funding allocation from the Victorian Government in the forthcoming State Budget for design, planning and pre-construction works for the North East Link.
“It is encouraging to see some serious funding being allocated to this vital infrastructure project, following the welcome commitment from the Victorian Government in December to build the North East Link, and its subsequent establishment of the North East Link Authority (NELA),” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.
“The VTA has already met with NELA CEO Duncan Elliott and the project team to discuss our preferred routing of the connection, and the importance of considering options that do not include tunnels, which are expensive to build and cannot accommodate dangerous goods vehicles.
“With or without a tunnel, Melbourne and the freight industry desperately need the North East Link, however, we were encouraged that the Authority is considering a range of routing options, and that they understand the restrictions tunnels present for placarded dangerous goods vehicles.
“We look forward to being actively involved in the consultation process over the coming months, which will culminate with the construction of the state’s most important infrastructure project.”
The North East Link has long been the number one infrastructure project for the VTA, with the Association stepping up efforts in 2016 in conjunction with the RACV for the connection to be built.
The VTA estimates heavy vehicle traffic on arterial roads in the north east of Melbourne will be dramatically reduced following the road’s construction, providing congestion and amenity improvements, as well as significant productivity gains for the freight industry.