A section of an inner-Melbourne freeway built in the 1970s could be heritage listed after an assessment deemed it to have "significance."

The Eastern Freeway extending from Hoddle Street to Bulleen Road has been referred to Heritage Victoria for consideration after consultants for the new North East Link toll road looked at the potential impact of the road’s construction.

“It was designed and built in the late ’60s early ’70s and it is a bit surprising, I know, that the freeway can can qualify for heritage listing”, North East Link Authority chief executive Duncan Elliott told 3AW on Wednesday.

“But when you think about that corridor and the form of the bridges and the rock wall embankments, the light masts and a few other elements that are there, it was the first example of a urban-design led road transport corridor,” 

According to the historical heritage assessment, the road is significant in the history of freeway design because it “marked a shift towards an integrated architectural, urban design and landscape solution and set a new design standard in Victoria.”

While the road has been nominated for heritage consideration, it does not mean it will be granted.

If successful, though, it will mean permits will be needed for any construction connecting to that section of freeway.