Engineering, Passenger Rail

Alliance gets to work on $1bn Metro Tunnel contract

The trio of engineering firms awarded the $1 billion Metro Tunnel contract to build tunnel entrances at South Yarra and West Footscray has begun preparatory works.

A team of John Holland, CPB Contractors and AECOM is now performing geotechnical, service and site investigations ahead of construction of the western and eastern tunnel entrances.

The trio make up the project’s Rail Infrastructure Alliance, announced as the preferred bidder in July. The RIA is working in partnership with Rail Projects Victoria and rail franchisee Metro Trains Melbourne.

The package of works will also deliver a turnback and a new platform at West Footscray station, as well as track enhancements near Hawksburn station.

John Holland and CPB Contractors are equal construction partners on the contract, while AECOM is the design partner.

CPB Contractors said its share of the $1 billion contract was $400 million.

Michael Wright, chief executive of CPB Contractors parent company CIMIC Group, noted the company was even more involved in the project, given CIMIC subsidiary UGL is 20% owner of Metro Trains Melbourne.

Wright said: “Investment in major transport infrastructure in Victoria is providing CIMIC Group and CPB Contractors with a strong pipeline of project opportunities.

“Through our in-house engineering business, EIC Activities, we are supporting our Alliance partners and client with expert insights into all geotechnical and civil engineering challenges and providing solutions that will ensure a cost-effective construction program.”

CPB Contractors managing director Juan Santamaria said the group has a “very strong presence” in Victoria, allowing it to support major projects with locally-based engineering and technical teams.

“Bringing local knowledge and international experience, we are committed to ensuring all client and community expectations are realised, including local employment and business opportunities and socially inclusive procurement strategies,” Santamaria said.

Construction of the tunnel entrances is expected to commence in late 2018, and be completed in 2025.

Roughly 50 workers are engaged in the preparatory works. Victorian public transport minister Jacinta Allan said over 150 workers will be onsite by the end of October.

“We’re not wasting a minute delivering the critically needed transport infrastructure projects required to keep Victoria moving,” Allan said.