Australia’s New South Wales Government has awarded a $1.15bn contract to build the North West Rail Link’s 15km twin tunnels to the Thiess/John Holland/Dragados joint venture. Work will start immediately to get the first of four TBM to used on the project in the ground by the end of next year.
The contract involves:
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- Four “double-shield, hard rock, gripper” TBMs to build the 15km twin tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping;
- Excavation and civil works for five new stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest and Bella Vista;
- The first TBM will be in the ground by the end of next year, with the remainder to follow soon after; and,
- Completion of the tunnel contract expected in the first half of 2017.
It is a major task to establish the construction sites in preparation for the arrival of the TBMs and this work, including major excavation work, will begin now.
The NSW Government announced last week the North West Rail Link budget has been set at $8.3bn and the line will open by the end of 2019.
Once the tunnelling contract is complete in 2017, work will continue along the 36km length of the project to lay tracks, fit out stations and deliver Sydney’s new generation rapid transit trains.
The tunnelling contract is the first of three major contracts on the North West Rail Link to be awarded:
The skytrain and surface construction contract is out to tender and is expected to be awarded before the end of this year; and
Formal tender documents have been issued to the two shortlisted consortia competing to operate the North West Rail Link, with the contract expected to be awarded before the end of 2014. This contract will be a Public Private Partnership, subject to value for money criteria being met.