Acciona, Cimic and Ghella consortium wins 16km Melbourne tunnel contract

Melbourne (Giovanni Gagliardi/Dreamstime)
A consortium led by Cimic subsidiary CPB Contractors, Italian civil engineer Ghella and Spanish contractor Acciona are in line for a contract to excavate 16km of twin-bore tunnels for Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop (SRL).

The loop, which is being billed as “Victoria’s big build”, will be a 90km network linking up every major train service in the city with Melbourne Airport, “better connecting Victorians to jobs, retail, education, health services and each other”.

The East Main Works contract will involve up to 10 tunnel boring machines, and will involve the creation of six underground stations built between Cheltenham and Box Hill.

A map of the Suburban Rail Loop with the eastern section highlighted (Government of Victoria)

The final contract is due to be signed in 2023 with digging to begin in 2026. A second SRL contract will be awarded next year for the tunnels between Glen Waverley and Box Hill. The entire system is not due to be up and running before 2035.

In 2021, UK contractor Laing O’Rourke won an initial and early works contract on SRL East.

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