The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is getting on with the job of delivering the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link, with the awarding of a major contract to build the skytrain section of this essential project, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian announced today.
The Impregilo-Salini joint venture has been awarded the $340 million construction contract for the four kilometre elevated skytrain, including a new bridge over Windsor Road at Rouse Hill.
“Work is now well underway on Australia’s biggest public transport project – and we have now signed the second of three major contracts being awarded for the North West Rail Link,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“The skytrain contract will deliver a 270 metre cable-stayed bridge over Windsor Road at Rouse Hill – an impressive structure set to become a distinctive local landmark.
“The four kilometre elevated skytrain runs from the end of the rail tunnels at Bella Vista through to Rouse Hill.
“The skytrain contract will also see the delivery of other surface construction work like railway embankments and cuttings.
“There has been significant progress on the North West Rail Link, with major work occurring at construction sites across the region.
“In June, we awarded the $1.15 billion tunnelling contract to build Australia’s longest rail tunnels – 15 kilometre twin tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping.
“The first of four tunnel boring machines will be in the ground before the end of next year – as promised and on schedule. Work is also continuing full-pace at the major tunnelling launch site at Bella Vista, home also of the new Bella Vista station.
“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is delivering the North West Rail Link – a project promised by the former Labor Government but never started.”
Mr O’Farrell, Ms Berejiklian and local MPs including David Elliott today inspected major work at the Bella Vista railway station construction site to mark the official awarding of the skytrain contract.
“I’m pleased we have reached another important milestone in this project – since coming to Government we have worked tirelessly to get this project underway for the people of this state,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The construction of the new cable-stayed bridge at Rouse Hill means there will be much less impact on motorists using Windsor Road while the North West Rail Link is being built.
“Under the previous plan, there would have been significant traffic delays and diversions for an extended period as the skytrain viaduct was built above Windsor Road.
“The bridge solution follows community feedback and means construction impacts on motorists and the community will be lessened considerably – while any future upgrade of the Windsor and Schofields roads intersection would not be impacted by the North West Rail Link.
“The structure will be subject to a formal planning process in early 2014.”
Ms Berejiklian said the skytrain and new bridge would be the most visible elements of the 36 kilometre long North West Rail Link project and a key priority has been to ensure final designs are integrated with their surroundings.
“The skytrain means the rail line will not cut communities in two, instead people and cars will be free to move around and under it,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It’s full steam ahead as 16 construction sites are being set up right across the North West to deliver this project by the end of 2019.
“The community is already seeing major work going on right across the North West – this will only increase over coming months.
“I urge everyone to be patient as we work as fast as we can to deliver this much needed public transport project, which will change the way of life in Sydney’s North West for generations to come.”
Due to the massive scale of the North West Rail Link – including eight new stations and 4,000 commuter car spaces – the project was split into three major contracts to ensure it could be delivered as quickly as possible.
This unique three-contract structure means the final skytrain contract price may vary due to ongoing fine-tuning involving the two other major contracts. Any changes would be covered in the total $8.3 billion total budgeted cost of the project.
The third and final major contract – a Public Private Partnership to build the stations, operate the rail link and deliver Sydney’s new generation of single deck trains – will be awarded by the end of next year.