NZ Transport Agency’s has announced its preferred tenderer for New Zealand’s biggest and most complex road project – Auckland’s Waterview Connection, which includes one of the country’s most challenging tunnels to-date – 2.5km of 14.1m diameter twin bores. The successful tenderer is: Well-Connected consortium comprising: Fletcher Construction/McConnell Dowell Constructors/Obayashi Corporation/PB New Zealand/Beca Infrastructure and Tonkin & Taylor.
The consortium includes five sub-alliance partners and contractors: SICE, Wilson Tunnelling, Downer EDI Works, Boffa Miskell and Warren and Mahoney. Well-Connected will now enter into an alliance with the NZTA to deliver the project.
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Together with the NZTA, Well-Connected will be responsible for constructing nearly 5kms of new motorway that includes the tunnels and interchanges that will connect the Southwestern and Northwestern Motorways. More than half of the new motorway will be underground – traffic will drive through two three-lane tunnels – which will be a first for New Zealand.
“This project will require underground work at an unprecedented scale, in a country where road tunnels are relatively rare. It will need to be constructed through difficult terrain that consists of soft sedimentary rock and basalt lava flows,” says the NZTA’s Chief Executive, Geoff Dangerfield.
“It won’t be easy, but by constructing the project in an alliance between the NZTA and the private sector, we’re ensuring that this project will be delivered as quickly as possible and with the very best value for money.”
Mr Dangerfield says today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in a rigorous procurement process that started last year.
Last November, the NZTA shortlisted three registered consortia down to two. The other shortlisted consortium which was unsuccessful today was Tuhono. The Tuhono consortium included Leighton Contractors, Fulton Hogan, John Holland, Aecom and Sinclair Knight Merz. Tuhono also included United Group and Keller New Zealand as proposed sub alliance partners.
“These parties have been engaged in a competitive and rigorous tender process that has attracted a high level of interest both nationally and internationally. We have been incredibly impressed with what they have delivered, and we are pleased with the outcome of this competitive process. We are on track to deliver this very large project on time and on budget at $1.4bn. That’s great news for Auckland and great news for New Zealand.”
Mr Dangerfield says the NZTA has run the competitive alliance tender process in parallel with its pursuit of statutory approvals for the Waterview Connection Project from the Board of Inquiry. The Agency received the final nod to go ahead in July.
“Running the two processes in parallel has helped us save up to a year in construction time and ensure we get the best market prices.
“Now, we gear up towards the start of construction. We’re nailing down the final design scheme that will incorporate all of the Board’s additions and take into account the community’s views and concerns and excitingly, we’re looking forward to getting that first spade in the ground before the end of the year.” Mr Dangerfield adds.
The project, to be finished by 2016, will complete one of the key links in the Western Ring Route around Auckland by connecting the Southwestern Motorway (SH20) at Mt Roskill to the Northwestern Motorway (SH16), providing a 48km motorway alternative to ease pressure on SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.