Update On The New Melbourne Freeway Link Proposal
Victoria's Labor government has promised to take its proposed $10 billion North East Link freeway to voters at the 2018 state election.
It's in contrast to the previous coalition government, which signed contracts for the East West Link toll road, which cost $1.2 billion to axe, just before the 2014 election.
The so-called "missing link" will complete the Metropolitan Ring Road by connecting the ring road to either the Eastern Freeway or EastLink.
Some $35 million will be spent on planning, route selection and environmental impact studies in 2017.
Tendering will then occur in 2018, but the Andrews government won't sign any contracts before the election in November.
Construction will start in 2019 if Labor wins.
"All points of the compass will be joined up properly by building a piece of road that's been talked about for the best part of 50 years," Mr Andrews told reporters on Sunday.
Preliminary work will be led by a new North East Link Authority.
The RACV backed Sunday's announcement, as did the Victorian Transport Association and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The state opposition simply said "talk is cheap".
"Let's wait and see what he actually delivers," opposition roads spokesman Ryan Smith told reporters.
Labor scrapped the former coalition government's plans to build a controversial East West Link tunnel under the city's inner north after it won the 2014 election.
Ripping up the contract signed by Denis Napthine in the last days of his government has cost Victorian taxpayers $1.2 billion to date.