Initial works contract for US$6.6 billion Australian rail link

By Andy Brown26 November 2021

Contractor Laing O’Rourke has been awarded the AUD$500 million (US$357 million) Initial Works and Early Works package for Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) in Melbourne, Australia.

It will prepare sites ahead of twin-tunnel boring for the 26km eastern section of the SRL, set to run from Box Hill south to Cheltenham, linking six new stations.

SRL has been called a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future liveability, productivity and connectivity of Melbourne.” 

The contract is part of a large package of works that the government of Victoria state, where Melbourne is located, is providing to boost transport links. The state is providing new funding of A$9.3 billion (US$6.6 billion) to build SRL East, which it aims to open for operations in 2035.

Work starts next year and is expected to create 800 jobs – around 14% of the total hours will be undertaken by Victorian apprentices, trainees or cadets.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, said, “We told the Victorian community we will get this project started – and we’re getting on with it.

“The Suburban Rail Loop is not just a rail line – it delivers opportunities for Victorians to live close to work, more access to education and services and supports thousands of new jobs at a time our state needs them most.”

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