Shortlists for US$4.2 billion Cross River Rail PPPs in Brisbane

Shortlists for US$4.2 billion Cross River Rail PPPs in Brisbane

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The Queensland Government has announced the shortlisted companies for the contracts to build Cross River Rail, a 10.2 km rail line in the south-east of Queensland, a state in the north-east of Australia. It is scheduled to be operational by 2024, with estimated construction costs of AUD5.4 billion (US$4.2 billion).

The line will connect Dutton Park in the south to Bowen Hills in the north, including twin 5.9 km tunnels under the Brisbane River and Brisbane's Central Business District. New underground stations will be constructed at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street and existing stations Dutton Park and Exhibition will be upgraded.

Successful bidders will also conduct track works at Mayne Yard and re-purpose the Exhibition Line from a special use line to a standard link in the rail network. The project is expected to generate 7,700 jobs during construction.

The project is being tendered in two major works packages:

  • The Tunnel, Stations and Development public-private partnership will deliver the underground section of the project, including the tunnel from Dutton Park to Normanby, the construction of four new, state-of-the-art underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street and an upgrade to Dutton Park Station. The package will also provide a property development opportunity above Albert Street station.
  • The Rail, Integration and Systems Alliance will deliver the design, supply and installation of the supporting rail systems and integration of Cross River Rail into Queensland Rail’s train network and upgrade to Exhibition Station.

The works are intended to meet the growing demand in the region for passenger rail services, forecast to almost triple by 2036. The population in Southeast Queensland is forecast to grow from 3.5 million to 4.9 million in 2036. While over 80% of that growth is occurring outside the Brisbane metropolitan area, in the same time period 45% jobs growth will be concentrated inside the area.

Companies shortlisted for the projects are as follows:

Tunnel, Stations and Development:

  • Pulse (CIMIC Group-led consortium, including Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, UGL, BAM, Ghella and DIF).
  • Qonnect (QIC, Capella Capital, Lendlease, John Holland and Bouygues).
  • CentriQ Partnerships (Plenary Group, ACCIONA, GS Engineering & Construction, Salini Impregilo and Spotless Group).

Rail, Integration and Systems:

  • River City Alliance (Laing O’Rourke, GHD, Aurecon, SYSTRA Scott Lister).
  • Unity Alliance (CPB Contractors, UGL, Jacobs, AECOM).

These teams will now be required to prepare detailed bids. As reported on this platform, this shortlist follows a Request for Expressions of Interest issued in September 2017. Development began in 2016, with a business case for the project being completed in July. It was accelerated in mid-2017, with an Industry Briefing held in August attracting over 500 industry representatives.

Early works have already begun with a program of geotechnical investigations and borehole drilling nearing completion. Additionally, the Woolloongabba site is in the process of being cleared in readiness to become the staging area for the large Tunnel Boring Machines which will dig the twin tunnel.

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