Following extensive consultations with construction companies and financiers last year, the government of New South Wales (NSW) has shortlisted three big hitters to compete for the role of development partner for Sydney’s Western Harbour Tunnel, set to be the fourth harbour crossing for vehicles in the growing city.
On the shortlist are Bechtel Infrastructure (Australia); Harbour West Partners, a consortium comprising Macquarie Capital, Jacobs and Australian infrastructure consultant RPS; and Laing O’Rourke Australia.
NSW decided against a private finance model and so will fund the 6.5km twin tolled tunnel itself.
The tunnel is intended to provide a western bypass of Sydney’s central business district and ease traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and Anzac Bridge.
Whoever becomes the development partner will manage procurement and construction of the tunnel, which will start in Rozelle and proceed under Balmain and Birchgrove before going under Western Harbour – as an immersed tube tunnel – to join the Warringah Freeway in North Sydney.
A formal Request for Tender will be released to the shortlisted applicants soon, Transport for NSW said, with the final choice expected in 2021.Â
The tunnel and related projects – Warringah Freeway Upgrade and Beaches Link Program – are expected to create around 15,000 construction jobs.
Image: Its alignment shown in blue, the tunnel will provide a western bypass of Sydney’s central business district and ease traffic on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and Anzac Bridge (Courtesy of Transport for NSW)