Shortlist for Melbourne underground highway 05 Sep 2019

TunnelTalk Reporting
Fig 1. Proposed route of new highway
Fig 1. Proposed route of new highway

Three consortia have been shortlisted to build the 6km twin tunnels that will form part of the 28km North East Link highway in Melbourne, Australia. The link will start at Greensborough and connect the M80 Ring Road with the Eastern Freeway (Fig 1). It is both the largest infrastructure project in the State of Victoria and the longest road tunnel in the State.

The shortlisted consortia competing for the AUD$7-9 billion underground highway contract are:

  • OneLink, comprising CPB Contractors, Samsung C&T Corporation, Egis Road Operations, UGL Engineering, Pacific Partnership, and DIF Management Australia
  • Spark, comprising Salini Impregilo, GS Engineering and Construction, China Construction Oceania, Broadspectrum Australia, Capella Capital, and John Laing Investments, with advisors, Lend Lease Engineering
  • ViaNova, comprising John Holland Group, Acciona Construction, Lendlease Services, Plenary Group, and Acciona Concesiones
Underground design of the North East Link
Underground design of the North East Link

In addition to the twin highway tunnels, the selected contractor will also design the entire project, including the new interchanges, freeway upgrades, and paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Construction is expected to start in late 2021, with preparatory works starting in early 2020, following planning approvals, led by CPB Contractors. Early works will include a range of power, water and other utility diversions and upgrades to reduce the disruption when major highway project construction begins.

Excavated by TBM, the underground section will run 40m below ground at the deepest point, 20m under the Yarra river, and at least 15m below residential properties. The route is expected to open to traffic in 2027.


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