Matthew Guy, Victoria state Planning Minister, has given the green light for the development of the eastern section of the East West Link project.
Mr Guy stated:
I have approved the East West Link eastern section as a wholly integrated project that will deliver a critical transport connection for Victoria. The value and importance of the East West Link project to Victoria is clearly recognised in the Assessment Committee's report.
The East West Link is just one part of the Napthine Coalition Government's AU$27 billion transport infrastructure pipeline, which also includes Melbourne Rail Link, Airport Rail Link, Cranbourne akeningham Rail, level crossing removals, Citylink-Tullamarine widening and the western section of the East West Link.
The East West Link project is a 18-kilometre cross city connection north of the Melbourne central business district. The full East West Link will improve the connectivity between Melbourne's established east and rapidly growing west, joining the Eastern Freeway at Hoddle Street with the Western Ring Road in Sunshine West.
The shortlisted bidders are:East West Connect
The project cost is estimated at A$6 billion (US$5.56 billion). The East West Link project will be delivered as an availability PPP with the state initially retaining tolling and traffic risk. Construction of the project is expected to commence in late 2014 with expected completion in 2019-20.