Two consortia involving national and international building companies are set to vie for Stage One of one of Australia’s biggest road infrastructure projects in Melbourne.

On Monday, Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Roads Minister Terry Mulder announced that the Lend Lease-led East West Connect would be vying with the Inner Link Group for Stage One of the East West Link project in Melbourne.

The project will link the end of the Eastern Freeway in the city’s inner north-east with the Tullamarine Freeway in the inner north-west and provide an important link from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs to the airport.

East West Connect involves three Lend Lease companies, two entities associated with French construction giant Bouygues, Sydney-based infrastructure investment outfit Capella Capital and Spanish Acciona Infrastructure. The consortium boasts member experience in projects such as Legacy Way (Brisbane) Peninsula Link (Melbourne) and Parares Tunnel and Port of Miami Tunnel in Spain and Miami.

Inner Link, meanwhile, involves seven members, including Transfield Services and Macquarie Capital as well as Korea’s Samsung C&T (Construction & Trading) Corporation. It involves members who have also worked on Legacy Way as well as Melbourne’s EastLink, Incheon Bridge in South Korea and 407 ETR in Canada.

The two consortia have edged out the Leighton/John Holland-led Momentum Infrastructure consortium, members of which had previously worked on the EastLink and CityLink projects within the city.

In a statement, O’Brien congratulated East West Connect and Inner Link on making it to the final stage whilst thanking Momentum for their engagement.

“The two consortia selected to proceed to the final stage include some of the world’s most experienced infrastructure companies,” O’Brien said. “The highly competitive nature of the tendering process will deliver the best value for money for Victorian taxpayers.”

Set to be built in two stages, the East West Link will carry vehicles from the end of the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne’s inner north-east to the Tullamarine Freeway and airport (Stage One) and through to the Western Ring Road in Melbourne’s west, and is expected to reduce freight congestion and improve connectivity across the city.

The successful tenderer for Stage One is expected to be announced in October, with construction to begin later in the year.