The top infrastructure stories of 2019 – Australia

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2019 was a huge year for the Australian infrastructure sector, with unprecedented spending in various major road and rail projects. Here are the top stories of 2019.

2019 Budget: An unprecedented $100 billion to be spent on infrastructure

Infrastructure spending became a true political battlefield and a clear winner of the Government’s funding in 2019.

The 10-year infrastructure package was increased from $75 billion to $100 billion and many new projects were added to the Infrastructure Priority List.

With Australia’s population expected to reach 30 million by 2029, the country is playing a catch-up game to keep up with this growth.

Queensland Government announces the companies selected to build the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail Project

Following a comprehensive evaluation process, the project’s major works packages will be delivered by the following world-class consortia:

The Tunnel, Stations and Development (TSD) public private partnership will be delivered by PULSE.

The PULSE consortium is led by CIMIC Group companies, Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, and UGL with international partners DIF, BAM and Ghella.

The Rail, Integration and Systems (RIS) alliance will be delivered by UNITY Alliance.

UNITY Alliance brings together CPB Contractors, UGL, AECOM and Jacobs, and partners HASSEL, RCS Australia, Acemna, Martinus Rail and Wired Overhead Solutions.

The European Train Control System (ETCS) will be delivered by Hitachi Rail STS.

Federal Governement announces $3.8 billion funding to fast track major infrastructure projects in Queensland

After years of conflict, the state and federal governemnts have reached a deal regarding funding for Queensland’s infrastructure projects. 

$1.9 billion worth of funding will be realeased in the short term, with $1.3 billion from the Federal Governement. 

  • It means projects including major road upgrades will go ahead
  • It also includes an agreement on a proposed inland rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane

The projects include:

  • $400 million for new road funding
  • $648 million to deliver already-promised projects sooner
  • Construction of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 — from Broadbeach south to Burleigh Heads
  • $46.3 million for two M1 motorway exit upgrades
  • Accelerated funding for the Linkfield Road Overpass on the Gympie Arterial Road at Bald Hills
  • Mt Crosby Road Interchange upgrade — onto the Warrego Highway
  • $10 million brought forward for the Rockhampton Ring Road
  • An agreement on the proposed Inland Rail linking Melbourne to Brisbane

An exact timeline for each project is yet to be released but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called the historic deal a “huge win”.

Source: ABC News

Mandatory engineers registration passes in Victoria

It will now be compulsory for Victorian civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire-safety engineers to be registered, according to Engineers Australia.

What you need to know

Contract finalised for $3.7bn Sydney Metro extension

“Plenary has reached contract close alongside the Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) consortium to extend the Sydney Metro trains, systems, operations and maintenance public-private partnership (PPP) contract.

The extended contract is part of the next stage of the Sydney Metro project.

The $3.7 billion contract package includes $1.7 billion for new metro trains and core rail systems as well as a $2 billion operations and maintenance component for NRT to operate the combined North West and City and Southwest lines until 2034.

The PPP will integrate the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project with the newly-opened Metro North West line to deliver a seamless turn-up and go service along a dedicated 66-kilometre line with 31 stations from Tallawong to Bankstown.

Source: Plenary

Aurecon selected as design engineer for the Western Sydney Airport

Aurecon has been chosen to provide terminal precinct engineering design services for the $5.3 billion Western Sydney International Airport (Nancy-Bird Walton).

The company will oversee engineering of the terminal precinct, which includes development of the reference design and technical advisory support for the 10 million passengers per annum terminal building, the aircraft apron, public car parks and roads.

The airport will be designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Cox Architecture in Sydney. and will accommodate 10 million passengers when the first phase is completed in 2026.

Together with Arcadis, Aurecon will also work on major earthworks and airfields design.

Source: Aurecon

Auditor-General says West Gate tunnel bid was not transparent or good value

According to Victoria’s Auditor-General Andrew Greaves, the approval of Transurban’s $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel in Melbourne was not transparent or value for money.

The audit found that there were competitors who could have delivered the project at a lower cost.

The findings of the audit have been rejected by The Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria Police and the state government with Treasury secretary David Martine issuing a six-page response.

Work stops on Melbourne Metro Tunnel over deadlines and costs

Tunneling work stopped briefly between North Melbourne and Kensington as tensions are growing over cost blowouts and deadlines between the government and the builder Cross Yara Partnership (CYP).

Already $150 million over budget, the $11 billion project is supposed to be completed by 2025.

“Operational matters” such as who shouuld pay for delays and financial over-runs seem to be the issue and CYP (the consirtium includes Lendlease, John Holland and Bouygues Construction) is seeking additional funding for the twin 9-kilometre tunnels under the CBD.

Source: ABC News

NSW releases Sydney Gateway plan

The NSW state government has released a draft Major Development Plan for the proposed Sydney Gateway project. The $2.4 billion road project will provide a high capacity connection from the Airport and Port Botany to the Westconnex St Peters Interchange.

Roads minister Andrew Constance says the $2.4 billion road project will facilitate movement of 100,000 vehicles a day and improve connections between the CBS and Sydney Airport and Port Botany.

Listed as high priority on Infrastructure Australia’s list, it will include an above-ground toll free connection between the Sydney motorway network and the Sydney Airport and Port Botany. It will also widen Qantas Drive from two to three lanes and provide a flyover from to the domestic airport terminals.

Three joint ventures –John Holland and Seymour White Joint Venture; and CPB Contractors; AirPortConnex led by Salini Impregilo; – have been shortlisted to proceed to the next stage of bidding to build the Gateway.

The construction is expected to begin in 2020.

Australian and Queensland Governments sign Inland Rail agreement

The Australian and Queensland Governments have signed a ground-breaking Bilateral Agreement to deliver Inland Rail.

The Bilateral Agreement is backed by the Federal Government’s $9.3 billion commitment to deliver Inland Rail and is part of the broader $25 billion commitment to road and rail projects across Queensland.

The project will  reate more than 7,000 jobs and a $7 billion boost to Queensland’s economy.

For every $1 the Government invests in Inland Rail, the rail infrastructure project will deliver a return to the Australian economy of $2.62 boosting Australia’s GDP by $16bn over the next 50 years.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the agreement reached with the Australian Government cements protections for Queenslanders and would see close to $2 billion in joint-funding fast-tracked for road and rail projects across the state.

Australia’s-first Diverging Diamond Interchange revealed

The Bruce Highway’s Caloundra Road interchange is being transformed into Australia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI).

The opening of the first stage to traffic took place on Thursday 28th November 2019.

Diverging diamond interchange (DDI) is an innovatove design as it requires fewer bridges and roads, while improving efficiency and safety.

Delivered by Fulton Hogan Seymour Whyte Joint Venture, as part of the Bruce Highway upgrade, the DDI will allow motorists to turn right without giving way to, or blocking traffic, coming the other way.

METRONET Perth contract signed

The top infrastructure story from WA is CPB Contractors and Downer, as part of the NEWest Alliance being awarded the delivery of the Yanchep Rail Extension and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, as part of Perth’s METRONET.

The $1.25 billion METRONET construction contract will add a further 32km of rail to Perth’s network and is funded by the Federal and Western Australia governments.

The project will create around 3,000 jobs: 1680 for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and 1370 for Yanchep Rail Extension and will generate a revenue of  approximately $423 million to CPB Contractors.

The Yanchep Rail Extension is expected to cut public transport journey times by at least 30 minutes to and from the city.

Early works on the TCL project are now underway, with Main Roads currently lengthening the Karel Avenue Bridge.

The works are scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Sydney Light Rail opens

After almost eight years since it was first promised, Sydney’s Light Rail has finally opened.

The project was highly controversial and troubled and caused much disruption. Officially annonuced in 2012 it was set to cost $1.6 billion. After four years of construction, the final price came at $2.96 billion.

The Sydney Light Rail contractor Acciona took legal action against the Government for misleading and deceptive conduct in 2018, and settled for $576 million adding even more to the total cost.

A class action is also being brought by businesses affected by construction. They are seeking millions in damages.

While the Governement celebrate the grand opening, not everyone was enthusiastic about the new service saying it “quicker to walk”.

Transport for NSW has advised the longer travel times are to be expected while the network “beds down” over the upcoming months.

Shortlist revealed for Sydney Metro Crows Nest Station construction tender

The applicants will now move to the Request for Tender (RFT) stage. A delivery partner for the over-station development will be selected via a separate procurement process.

Lendlease, Acciona Win $744m Melbourne Rail Contract

The state government has awarded new rail contracts worth $910 million to remove five level crossings across Melbourne 

The state government awarded the contracts to remove five level crossings on the Frankston line and the Clyde Road crossing on the Pakenham line.

A $744 million contract for work at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach was given to an alliance of Lendlease, Acciona Coleman Rail, WSP and Metro Trains Melbourne. 

A $166 million contract was awarded to remove the Clyde Road level crossing in Berwick by lowering the road under the Pakenham line, was awrded to the alliance comprising Fulton Hogan and Metro Trains Melbourne.

So far, contracts have been awarded for removal of 50 level crossings.  

First underwater metro tunnel complete – Sydney Metro

A historic milestone has been reached, with the first metro railway tunnel under Sydney Harbour now complete. 

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Kathleen launched in June 2019 from the Barangaroo Station site and is building the twin railway tunnels.

Queensland government unveils plans for Brisbane Live development

“Market sounding” has started for the new Brisbane Live arena. Centrally located and capable of revitalising the underused wetsern gateway to the city, it could deliver 450 jobs per year during construction, 1000 jobs in the peak year and 600 ongoing jobs once operational.

Mirvac and John Holland chosen to deliver Sydney Metro Waterloo station

Mirvac in joint venture with John Holland have won a tender to build the Waterloo metro station as part of the Sydney Metro project.

Located in the city’s inner south, the project will revitalise the Waterloo precint and is valued at $800 milllion.

As part of the 12.5 billion metro line, John Holland will deliver the Waterloo metro station, while the Consortium will deliver the integrated station development. The Waterloo concept comprises five building envelopes including three towers and two mid-rise buildings above and adjacent to the station.

The project will take five to six years to complete.

NSW Government confirms seven new Sydney train stations for Metro West project

Seven station locations have been confirmed, but the Government is considering as many as nine stops.

The Transport Minister said the project would take the pressure off the T1 Western Line which, along with the T9 Northern Line, was expected to reach capacity within the next decade.

He said the project would also create around 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs.

Where the new stations will be:

  • Westmead: Eastern side of Hawkesbury Road, south of the existing Westmead Station
  • Parramatta: Between George, Macquarie, Church and Smith streets
  • Sydney Olympic Park: East of Olympic Boulevard
  • North Strathfield: Adjacent to existing North Strathfield Station
  • Burwood North: Corner of Burwood and Parramatta roads
  • Five Dock: Great North Road, between East Street and corner of Second Avenue
  • The Bays Precinct: Between Glebe Island and Bay Power Station

Martinus Rail completes partnership with Gamuda

Martinus Rail has officially entered into a partnership with multinational and infrastructure contractor Gamuda Berhad (Gamuda).

Founded in 1976, the largest contractor in Malaysia employs over 5,000 people and is currently delivering Malaysia’s $10 billion Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 2.


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