Victoria rolls out $1.4bn road upgrade project

Australia’s first suburban arterial PPP will be carried out under the availability-based model.

The Victorian government has called for expressions of interest for the western package of the Outer Suburban Arterial Roads PPP, which has an estimated investment value of A$1.8 billion ($1.39 billon; €1.27 billion).

The package looks to address congested traffic in Melbourne’s suburban road network. It comprises eight high-priority road upgrades as well as maintenance work on more than 700km of roads connecting Werribee to Footscray. The upgrades, which involve duplication and widening works, are expected to be delivered within five years. The maintenance contract will continue for a further 20 years. 

The project is Australia’s first suburban arterial PPP. The government will make periodic payments to the consortium, using a model similar to that developed for the Peninsula Link. None of the roads will be tolled, according to reports.
The request for proposal is expected to be issued in early 2017, with construction to begin in 2018. 

In addition to the western package, the Outer Suburban Arterial Roads programme also includes a southeastern and a northern bundle of contracts.

The news comes just a week after the state government issued new requirements for projects carried out under its PPP framework. This package will be the first to be rolled out under the revamped scheme, which includes standardised documentation and an updated contract management guide.