North East Link Authority in the Victoria state of Australia has awarded a contract worth $8.36bn (A$11.1bn) to Spark consortium for the A$15.8bn North East Link Project in Melbourne.

North East Link Authority is overseeing the development of the North East Link Project, which will connect Metropolitan Ring Road (M80) and the Eastern Freeway (also known as EastLink) in Melbourne.

The North East Link involves fixing the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network by connecting the M80 with an upgraded Eastern Freeway, to significantly reduce congestion.

It is also expected to provide an efficient connection for up to 135,000 vehicles each day while reducing up to 35 minutes of travel times.

Under the public-private partnership (PPP) contract, the consortium will be responsible for the delivery of Primary Package of Melbourne’s North East Link.

Scope of work includes design and construction of twin three-lane tunnels of approximately 6.5km long, and other related works.

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

With early works underway, the North East Link is slated for completion in 2028. The project is backed by funding from the Australian and Victorian governments.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said: “A project the size of North East Link doesn’t come around very often. It’s been long talked about – and is the largest ever investment into Melbourne’s north-east – supporting 10,000 jobs and we’re getting on with it.”

Victoria Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “Half a million Victorians live within two kilometres of a North East Link interchange.

“The tunnels are just one part of a massive investment in the north east – this project will change the way people move around Melbourne and deliver the road, bus, walking and cycling upgrades.”


Metropolitan Ring Road in Victoria, Australia. Credit: Orderinchaos/