27/10/2015 - 14:13

Leighton consortium favoured for Roe 8

27/10/2015 - 14:13

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The state government has named a consortium led by Leighton Contractors as the preferred proponent for construction of the $500 million Roe 8 highway project, which is the first leg of the contentious Perth Freight Link.

Leighton consortium favoured for Roe 8
Transport Minister Dean Nalder. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has named a consortium led by Leighton Contractors as the preferred proponent for construction of the $500 million Roe 8 highway project, which is the first leg of the contentious Perth Freight Link.

Following environmental approval of the project by the federal government last week, a consortium comprising Leighton, Georgiou, GHD, AECOM, WA Limestone and BG&E has been named the preferred bidder for the construction of the Roe Highway extension from the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road.

It’s the same consortium that is building the $1 billion Gateway WA roads project around Perth Airport.

Premier Colin Barnett said the contract would be signed later this year, followed by a design process that will be ‘informed by community input’.

“Roe 8 will take 5,000 trucks off local roads and make them easier for people to access Fiona Stanley Hospital while delivering faster journey times for people who live and work south of the river,” Mr Barnett said.

“Critically, it will provide the necessary transport infrastructure to support the current port and associated commercial areas of Fremantle, as well as ensuring access to a future port facility to the south.”

The premier said the tender had come in under budget at less than $500 million, and the contract would create 600 jobs.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the proposal included an innovative road layout at the Kwinana Freeway/Roe Highway interchange, which would enhance road safety and traffic efficiency.

He said Roe 8 would reduce congestion, improve freight efficiency and provide better safety outcomes for all road users.

“Tens of thousands of people using Leach Highway are being exposed to unnecessary risk because it was never designed to carry such a volume of trucks and cars,” Mr Nalder said.

“Between 2009 and 2013, more than 72 per cent of crashes on Leach Highway were rear-end collisions. That is significantly higher than the metropolitan region average of 43.5 per cent.

“The current stop-start traffic is a major contributing factor.”

The Leighton consortium won the Roe 8 work over a BGC Contracting-led consortium, which also included Laing O’Rourke, Arup and Jacobs.

It is still facing off against a consortium comprising Clough, Brierty, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and Hyder for the second stage of the $1.57 billion Perth Freight Link.

The state government is still evaluating whether stage two will comprise an upgrade to existing roads, including Stock Road and Leach Highway, or construction of a tunnel.

The two competing consortia are understood to have submitted two sets of prices, for the grade option and the tunnel option.

The government is also evaluating how to deal with increased traffic volumes leading into the harbour, with speculation an additional bridge across the Swan River will be needed.

The announcement follows news last week that the Roe 8 extension had been granted environmental approval by the federal government, subject to a number of conditions.

The conditions included include two wetland bridges built over Roe Swamp and Horse Paddock Swamp, a top-down construction process to minimise clearing footprint and compaction during construction, building the road on land already partially cleared for overhead power lines, and a 523-hectare land offset package and fauna underpasses.

Construction is scheduled to begin early next year.

Greens member for South Metropolitan Lynn MacLaren warned the successful tenderer that they had signed up for a battle with the community ‘from which they stand to lose’.

“The community is organised to resist and there is ongoing action in the Supreme Court,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The Barnett government’s strategy is to get bulldozers clearing land as fast as possible because they think they will see off challenges this way.

“The Barnett government’s approach is to rush into bad decisions; yet being forced to back down on bad decisions is a hallmark of the Barnett government also.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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