SMEC has commenced work on the detailed design of Australia’s largest road project, North East Link; as the project moves into the delivery phase, led by Spark Consortium who have signed a $11.1 billion Public Private Partnership contract to deliver, finance, operate and maintain the Primary Package.

The new North East Link freeway will connect an upgraded Eastern Freeway to the M80 Ring Road in Melbourne’s north-east, significantly reducing travel times, increasing freight reliability, and removing over 15,000 trucks from local roads every day.

SMEC, together with their joint venture partners Mott Macdonald, delivered the winning design for the Spark Consortium during the pandemic. The innovative design has now been announced by the Victorian Government and includes a longer tunnel to Watsonia, a new tree-lined boulevard for Greensborough Road and new, revived, and reconnected parklands which covers more area than 50 Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

SMEC CEO Australia & New Zealand, James Phillis commented “The North East Link project will change the face of Melbourne and have a huge impact on the future growth of the city. Our team of highly skilled specialists are excited to be a part of the positive impact this project will create for so many people.”

The project includes Victoria’s longest road tunnels, three-lane twin tunnels which run for sixkilometres under Melbourne. North East Link is a once-in-a-generation project which will facilitate better connections for businesses, increase efficiencies for freight transport and make neighbourhoods in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne safer and more enjoyable places to live. The new tunnels will help protect homes and sensitive environmental areas including the Yarra
River, Banyule Flats and Warringal Parklands.

“SMEC has brought together a truly talented local team supplemented by internationally recognised specialists to support this successful tender. We are all excited at the opportunity to step into the delivery phase of this landmark project,” said James. “We bring a wealth of experience in tunnelling and major freeway design which will be invaluable to this project and its success.”

The Spark consortium comprises WeBuild, GS Engineering and Construction, CPB Contractors, China Construction Oceania, Ventia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments, DIF and Pacific Partnerships.