The Victorian Government has selected a preferred bidder for the tunnelling package of works on the North East Link road project.
The Spark consortium is made up of Webuild, GS Engineering and Construction, CPB Contractors, China Construction Oceania, Ventia, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments, DIF and Pacific Partnerships.
The tunnelling package will provide three-lane twin tunnels that will close the missing link in Melbourne’s freeway network.
Up to 135,000 vehicles are expected to use the North East Link every day, reducing congestion in the city’s north-east while maintaining local roads for local trips and the environmental impact.
Federal Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said this was another important step for Victoria’s biggest road project.
“The North East Link is a significant road project that will create thousands of local jobs, cut travel times for commuters and freight and take trucks off local roads, improving congestion and safety particularly for communities in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs,” Fletcher said.
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The tunnelling package will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership. The Victorian Government will work with the preferred bidder to negotiate a final contract and finalise concept design for the North East Link.
Once the tunnelling package is awarded, the project will go out to market for other key elements of North East Link including an overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, the completion of the M80 Ring Road and more than 25 kilometres of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.
Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said the project is the missing piece of the puzzle for the Victorian Government’s record investment in the North East.
“This is another important step for the North East Link, as we continue to build the projects Victorians in the north east need to be better connected to services, jobs and opportunities,” Allan said.
“Fixing the missing link will get trucks off local roads as well as providing a much-improved route for interstate, regional and metropolitan freight vehicles.”
Webuild Chief Executive Pietro Salini the business is honoured to be part of the consortium chosen for the project.
“It is the crowning achievement of our commitment to a country where we plan to put down roots for the long term. It is an accomplishment that will be transformational for the Group, and it comes just a few days after the signing of another important contract to build a high-speed railway in Texas in the United States,” Salini said.
“The results that the Group is producing in strategic markets like the United States and Australia are in addition to the positive news in Italy, especially in the south.”