Watsonia to the M80 Ring Road

The State Government has announced the consortium to construct the Northern Package of North East Link (NEL) from Watsonia Road to the M80 Ring Road.

Onsite works will begin in early 2024 and finish at the same time as the Central Package in 2028, to allow the entire North East Link to open at the same time. You can read more here.

The North East Link Project (NELP) are required to undertake an Urban Design and Landscape Plan (UDLP) and to obtain community and stakeholder feedback on the designs.

Community feedback on the concept designs has now closed. You can view the designs and read more about the community engagement process on the Victorian Government's community engagement website.

Council has received an extension until the end of November to make a submission in response to the North East Link plans. Council's submission will be made available to the community here on Shaping Banyule. Click here to view Council's proposed response.

The concept designs

The concept designs released by the State Government in October 2023 for the northern section of North East Link includes a 10-lane trench through Watsonia which:

  • wall-to-wall, will be 65 metres wide
  • will be 100 metres wide at some points, with 18 lanes of asphalt (driving, service and on/off lanes)

Lid the Link

In August 2022, Council led the Lid the Link campaign to:

  • create a green bridge over the trench between Watsonia Road and Elder Street
  • help keep businesses open and our community thriving
  • create more than three hectares of land that in years to come would be used to create the places and spaces our community needs and deserves
  • boost accessibility and access between Watsonia Village, the train station and the car park.

Over 3000 Banyule community members supported the campaign and told us why putting a green bridge over the trench was important to them. Read more about the Lid the Link campaign.

Council's advocacy

Council’s advocacy on behalf of the Banyule community for this section of the North East Link has also included:

  • Better east-west bus, bike and walking connections across Watsonia to reduce the divisive impact of the North East Link corridor alongside the existing railway line and Greensborough Highway.
  • An upgraded Watsonia Station with improved accessibility.
  • The delivery of cycling connections nominated in the Urban Design Strategy, including Yando Street underpass to M80 trail, as off road path.
  • The addition of an off road cycling connection from Yando Street underpass to the new Greensborough Station SUP (currently under construction by LXRP).
  • Improved facilities at AK Lines Reserve and Garbonia Reserve, after their use as Construction Compounds.
  • Improved amenity in residential streets adjacent to the NEL.
  • Addition of public art and gateway treatment into Greensborough.
  • Consideration of water sensitive urban design solutions to the Kalparrin Gardens Stormwater Harvesting facilities.

Read more about Council's advocacy efforts as part of the Northern package.

Whilst some of these improvements have been included in North East Link’s plans, Council is disappointed that a number of major opportunities that have been overlooked. Council will be providing a detailed submission to North East Link advocating for these better design options.