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North East Link will remove 15,000 trucks from roads

A fully funded North East Link confirmed in the Victorian Budget is expected to take up to 15,000 commercial vehicles from local roads according to the State Government.

The project, proposed for decades, will, according to the Labor Government, who yesterday called for expressions of interest, connect the Eastern Freeway and the M80 Ring Road it has announced

Touted as the biggest road project ever built in Victoria, the North East Link will require builders to widen the Eastern Freeway and construct a six kilometre tunnel to re-route traffic and trucks freeing up local roads for residents.

The Victorian Government has allocated $15.8 billion to the project.

Planning approvals on the project are expected to be in place by the end of the year, with early works to start in early 2020.

Major upgrades long overdue on the notorious bottle neck of the Eastern Freeway, for commuters traveling to the city, will reportedly streamline traffic and reduce travel times by up to 35 minutes.

Construction of the project will create more than 10,000 jobs.

"It will return $1.30 back to the Victorian economy for every dollar invested," the Victorian Government said in a statement.

The North East Link is part of a $27.4 billion Suburban Transport Blitz unveiled in the Budget which was delayed a month by Treasurer Tim Pallas in deference to the Federal Election.

The Blitz also includes $608 million to upgrade the local roads that drivers use every day, including $22.6 million to fix some of our busiest and most congested intersections.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the Victorian Government, in its attempts to curb congestion and remove trucks from local streets, was delivery every cent needed to build North East Link.

“People have talked about North East Link for decades, but no one has delivered the funding to get it built – until now,” she said in a statement.

Victoria will increase its debt from $39 billion in 2019/20 to $54.9 billion in 2022/23 with gross state product predicted to increase to 12 per cent as a means of funding the Suburban Transport Blitz.

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