17/11/2015 - 13:26

John Holland wins NorthLink

17/11/2015 - 13:26

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Construction company John Holland has been selected as the preferred proponent for stage 1 of the NorthLink WA roads project, which has an overall budget of $1.12 billion.

Construction company John Holland has been selected as the preferred proponent for stage 1 of the NorthLink WA roads project, which has an overall budget of $1.12 billion.

Stage 1 is known as the Tonkin Highway grade separations, and involves the construction of flyovers at the intersections of Collier Road, Morley Drive and Benara Road, and an upgraded section of Tonkin Highway north of Guildford Road.

Work on this stage is due to start in early 2016.

John Holland was selected ahead of three other shortlisted groups – Leighton Contractors, McConnell Dowell, and a joint venture comprising Perth company Georgiou and York Civil.

Stage 2 of NorthLink WA will provide a new 37-kilometre highway from the intersection of Reid and Tonkin highways in Malaga through the Swan Valley to Muchea.

NorthLink is part of the state government’s planned road freight network, which was meant to provide an unbroken link from Fremantle harbour through the Kewdale industrial area and north to Muchea (see map).

The government is proceeding with various stages, even though Premier Colin Barnett announced last month that the final stage to Fremantle has been put on hold.

The final stage – part of the $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link – would have run from Roe Hwy to Stirling Hwy in Fremantle but has been put on hold after Mr Barnett said it was more complex and expensive than the government had anticipated.

The government had initialy planned to upgrade existing roads, including Stock Road and Leach Hwy, then evaluated sinking a tunnel, but has committed to neither.

Despite that decision, the government recently selected a Leighton Contractors-led consortium to proceed with the $500 million extension of Roe Highway, known as Roe 8.

The deferral of the final stage has raised concerns about government plans to put a toll, or freight levy, on trucks to help pay for the Perth Freight Link.

The rationale for the toll was that the unbroken network would deliver significant efficiency gains to the trucking industry.

The NorthLink WA project is being jointly funded by the federal government ($894 million) and the state government ($223 million).

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, said NorthLink was a game changing project that would reduce congestion on major freight corridors.

"The Tonkin Highway provides a vital link for regional traffic movements to commercial and industrial areas such as Malaga, Kewdale, Perth Airport and the Perth CBD and through to the port and Kwinana industrial areas,” Mr Truss said.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the Tonkin Highway carried more than 70,000 vehicles per day and the grade separations would result in freer-flowing traffic, similar to the $986 million Gateway WA project.

"Fewer traffic lights means vehicles keep moving and travel times improve, resulting in less congestion on local roads and safer neighbourhoods and communities," he said.

"This project is another example of the government's commitment to addressing the growing impact that traffic volumes have on the community.’’

Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter said the NorthLink project would deliver major benefits to his electorate and WA as a whole.

"The second stage of the project will create a safer situation for Swan Valley residents, businesses and tourists with the majority of heavy vehicle traffic being removed from the existing Great Northern Highway," Mr Porter said.

Chinese group CCCI bought John Holland from CIMIC Group (formerly Leighton Holdings) in April 2015 for $1.15 billion.

CCCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company.

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