Three construction companies are lining up to build the Melbourne Suburban Rail Loop as pre-construction works progress.
The Victorian Government has announced CPB Contractors, John Holland and Laing O’Rourke as potential contractors to deliver the first phase of construction on the mega project.
The package of works will see roads modified, utilities relocated and protected, ground improvement trials, tram terminus works, and sites prepared across Melbourne’s south east to make way for massive tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will tunnel the 26-kilometre rail corridor from Cheltenham to Box Hill.
The start of construction next year will create up to 800 early direct jobs, with the overall project estimated to create 20,000 jobs.
Respondents will need to demonstrate they can deliver these works, put local jobs first, and commit to other key programs including the Major Projects Skills Guarantee, Recycled First Policy and the Social Procurement Framework.
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More than 425 boreholes and geotechnical investigations have been drilled where the twin 26-kilometre underground tunnels will be built.
Five drilling rigs are currently in the ground, with another two rigs being brought on in coming weeks.
Suburban Rail Loop workers have also drilled seven kilometres of ground and conducted hundreds of land and groundwater surveys, with around 10,000 laboratory tests completed.
The exploratory work underway also includes laser and CCTV technology, which is helping workers to remotely inspect the South East Trunk Sewer.
Thousands of lasers are fired in the space, bouncing off solid surfaces to create a ‘point cloud’ to map the area with pinpoint accuracy – ideal for inspecting tight, hard to reach places.
The work is helping to shape the six underground stations that make up Stage One of the project at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill.
Suburban Rail Loop Minister Jacinta Allan said this early phase of construction will create hundreds of local jobs and make this important project a reality.
“These new underground stations will deliver fast and convenient journeys – confirming the station locations and entrances for Stage One brings us a step closer to starting work on this transformational project,” Allan said.
“Whether it’s removing dangerous level crossings, upgrading suburban roads or getting on with projects such as the Suburban Rail Loop – we’re delivering a massive pipeline of infrastructure supporting thousands of jobs.”
The contract will be awarded by the end of the year with construction starting in Melbourne’s south east in 2022.