$3.6b tunnelling contract awarded for Suburban Rail Loop East


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CPB Contractors, Ghella and ACCIONA Construction have been awarded a $3.6b contract to build 16km of twin tunnels as part of the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East project.

The first tunnels contract has been awarded for Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) East, with tunnelling to start in 2026, transforming Melbourne’s public transport network and creating thousands of jobs. A consortium of global tunnelling experts has been awarded the $3.6b Tunnels South contract to build 16km of twin tunnels between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley.

CPB Contractors, Ghella and ACCIONA Construction have extensive experience in Victoria and Australia as well as overseas. The contract includes several industry-leading innovation and environmental initiatives, which will help make SRL East one of the most sustainable projects in Australia’s history.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman Juan Santamaria said: “CPB Contractors is an industry leader in the delivery of complex construction and brings decades of experience to this first major package of SRL East, providing critical transport connections for the city. We are pleased to be selected by the Victorian Government to construct this valuable piece of infrastructure, improving the lives of people across east and south east Melbourne.”

CPB Contractors Managing Director Jason Spears said: “Working collaboratively with the Victorian Government and Suburban Rail Loop Authority, CPB Contractors is committed to supporting residents, local communities and businesses, by providing Victorians with every opportunity to benefit from the social, employment, skills and sustainability outcomes this project will create.”

The 4 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for this section will be powered by renewable electricity, and construction and materials emissions will be reduced by 20%.

On the jobs front, opportunities will be boosted for skilled workers and training and at least 12% of hours to be worked by trainees, apprentices and cadets.

The contract will also include 55 safety cross passages between the tunnels, station boxes at Clayton and Monash and the construction of portals – the entrances and exits to the tunnels – at the stabling facility.

In a win for our local communities, most of the ground preparation works required to excavate safety cross passages between the twin tunnels will be managed underground, reducing surface impacts on residents, schools and roads.

SRL East will create up to 8000 direct jobs and deliver 6 new underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill, slashing travel times and congestion, and connecting people to new housing options and key employment, health and education destinations in Melbourne’s east and south east.

Construction is progressing across the SRL East corridor, with workers in Burwood using excavators, cranes and pile-drilling rigs to build a 19m deep, 38m long and 29m wide TBM launch site.

In addition, 2 shortlisted bidders for the Tunnels North contract between Glen Waverley and Box Hill are now at the Request for Proposal stage, with the contract to be awarded next year.

In a separate package of works, 2 consortia have been shortlisted to build the fleet of high-tech SRL trains, signalling system, and operation and maintenance of the SRL East network. This Linewide Alliance contract is expected to be awarded in 2025.

Source: © State Government of Victoria, Australia 2023

Source: CIMIC

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