North East Link Project

The largest private-public partnership (PPP) for an infrastructure project in Australia

New contract
Roads & Motorways

Start of works

October 2021

Progress status


Data updated to October 2021

Melbourne, Australia
SDG Obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile
Industry innovation and infrastructure Industry innovation and infrastructure

The project foreesees excavating approximately 6.5 kilometres of twin tunnels each, with three lanes, as part of a wider system that will become a key link in north east Melbourne’s freeway network.

The contract concerns the Tunnelling Package, which is part of the so-called Primary Package, which in turn is part of a larger infrastructural development project.

Construction works of the North East Link (or NEL) project will also include 6 km of auxiliary works, a bridge, and highway interghages with the M80 and Eastern Freeway.

The NEL project, is the largest private-public partnership (PPP) for an infrastructure project in Australia. Once completed, it will have the State of Victoria’s longest highway tunnels.

Works are part of the State of Victoria’s Big Build infrastructure investment programme. They were assigned by the North East Link Authority of the State of Victoria to The Spark Consortium, which includes Webuild.

Technical data

Tunnels (km)





NEL is a project with a strong sustainability element, which will lead to building an essential link in north est Melbourne’s freeway network. Il will reduce traffic levels, taking 15,000 trucks off local roads, and reducing travel times by up to 35 minutes for tens of thousands of commuters.

Among the project’s benefits, worthy of metion is the construction of 25 km of new walking and cycling paths, and Melbourne’s first dedicated bus lane with express lanes.

NEL’s tunnels excavation will protect private properties and Banyule Flats area, which is important from an environmental point of view.

Benefits and advantages of the work

Trucks taken off local roads per day


Reduction in travel times

35 minutes

New walking and cycling paths

25 km





Signing of contrac