The Victorian and federal governments have officially signed off on the long-awaited Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) project this week.
Prime minister Scott Morrison and Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced some of their strategic objectives that would be going into the $10 billion project which has already received a $5 billion investment from the federal government in last year’s budget. A heads of agreement document was signed – this outlines strategic objectives for the project, as well as information sharing and governance arrangements that go along with this kind of partnership.
A team will soon be assigned to set the next stages of planning and initial construction. The aim is for the new airport link to be integrated with the existing rail network, the new Metro Tunnel and the previously announced Suburban Rail Loop. There is also the goal of getting it ready for fast-rail travel.
The project is estimated to cost between $8 and $13 billion and will take about nine years. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait that long for it to begin – construction is due to commence in 2022. Watch this space.