Sydney light rail on track

A shortlist has been drawn up for early works on the A$1.6bn CBD and South East Light Rail project in Sydney.

New South Wales’ (NSW) Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian, says the private sector will take encouragement from the shortlisting of three bid teams for early works on the A$1.6 billion (€1.05 billion; $1.4 billion) CBD and South East Light Rail project in Sydney.

Having received eight bids for the early works contract, Transport for NSW has whittled them down to a three-bid shortlist: Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction; Leighton Contractors; and a joint venture between Downer EDI Works and Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia.

The project comprises two contracts: one for early works and the other a public-private partnership (subject to value for money) for financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance.

“This strong response from a range of private construction firms is a vote of confidence in the CDB and South East Light Rail project,” said Berejiklian in a statement.

She added that early works would be “critical to the wider success of the project” and would make it “clear to the private sector that we are getting on with the job of building this important transport project for NSW”.

The project’s procurement process effectively began in October last year with more than 110 representatives from 66 private sector organisations attending an industry briefing at which they were invited to work with the NSW government on delivering the project.

Subject to planning approval, early works will begin later this year and will include activities to manage or relocate buried (underground) utilities such as water, telecommunications, gas, and electricity cables and pipes. Overall, the project is expected to take five to six years to complete.

CBD and South East Light Rail is part of a light rail programme in Sydney that also includes the Inner West Light Rail Extension project. CBD and South East Light Rail will run from Circular Quay at the northern end of the central business district to the south-eastern suburbs of Randwick and Kingsford.