EastLink (Melbourne) - Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues

Many environmental groups in Melbourne's east and south-east objected to the project, due to a number of factors, including vehicle emissions and disruption of habitat (in places such as the Mullum Mullum Valley and Dandenong Valley Wetlands). However, the road was the subject of an extensive Environmental Effects Statement (June 1998), which was followed by an extensive public hearing process in April 1999 before the final Government decision to proceed. The statement predicted an 18.5per cent increase in carbon dioxide, impacts on groundwater and wetlands, high impacts on areas of conservation value and the potential to affect 38 species of rare or threatened fauna and flora if the freeway was built.

According to EastLink's builders, the road will relieve traffic congestion throughout Melbourne's eastern and south-eastern suburbs, resulting in more efficient traffic flow, therefore reducing fuel consumption and exhaust output.

During the planning phase (then a VicRoads project), a large debate surrounding damage to the Mullum Mullum Valley occurred. A number of options for the path of the road through the valley were considered. The option chosen - for two 1.6 km tunnels - was the second-to-most expensive, and the second-to-most environmentally friendly. Other options considered in planning included a surface road for the entire length, much shorter tunnels, and slightly longer tunnels.

However, despite the attention on tunneling beneath the Mullum Mullum Gorge, the Ringwood Interchange is entirely above-ground and has resulted in relocation of the creek through this area.

Read more about this topic:  EastLink (Melbourne)

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