CPB Contractors, John Holland and Laing O’Rourke were shortlisted for the first phase of Melbourne suburban rail loop, the Victorian Government announced.
The contract is expected to be awarded by the end of this year with construction works starting in 2022 in Melbourne’s south east to create 26-km twin-tunnels and six stations on the rail corridor from Cheltenham to Box Hill under the first phase.
The respondents will need to demonstrate they can deliver the works, put local jobs first, and commit to other key programmes including the Major Projects Skills Guarantee, Recycled First Policy and the Social Procurement Framework.
The start of construction next year will create up to 800 early direct jobs, overall, the project will create 20,000 jobs.
The 2020-2021 Victorian budget provided AUD 2.2 billion (USD 1.7 billion) to kickstart the procurement process, buy the land required for the TBM launches and prepare for construction of the Stage One of the rail line.
“We said we’d get on and deliver Stage One of Suburban Rail Loop and we’re not wasting a second – this early phase of construction will create hundreds of local jobs and make this important project a reality,” the Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said.
Seven kilometres of ground were drilled for the Melbourne suburban rail loop, as pre-construction works on the mega project ramp up in the south east of the city.
The suburban rail loop project consists of the construction of 90 km of rail connecting every major rail line from the Frankston line to the Werribee line, via Melbourne Airport, providing important travel connections between employment, health, education and activity centres in Melbourne’s middle suburbs. AUD 50 billion (USD 38.7 billion) is the estimated value of the entire project.
Three transport super hubs at Clayton, Broadmeadows and Sunshine will connect regional passengers to the suburban rail loop.
The travel times from Cheltenham to Box Hill will be just 22 minutes, with trains taking 3–4 minutes between stations and when completed, the entire rail link will reduce the journey for more than 80 per cent of the Melburnians.
The new line will create another connection to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link.