The contract, awarded by the New South Wales state government, is a modification to the larger Rozelle Interchange as part of the WestConnex project. Construction for the WestConnex project began in July 2016 and the first of the overall project’s tunnels, the M4 East, opened to traffic in July 2019. The 33km WestConnex is Australia’s largest infrastructure project.
The Western Harbour works will facilitate the efficient construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel and its seamless integration into the Sydney motorway network.
The project involves the excavation and lining of the Western Harbour Tunnel driven tunnels, including ventilation tunnels, between the stubs provided by the Rozelle Interchange and Birchgrove Oval. The Western Harbour Tunnel will link WestConnex at Rozelle with the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney via 6.km of tunnels under Sydney Harbour, with three lanes in each direction.
“Our teams are currently delivering the Rozelle Interchange and will leverage that experience to ensure that the enabling works are delivered safely and to schedule,” said Jason Spears, managing director of CPB Contractors. “Our teams delivered the M4 widening, the M4 East, the M8, and have demonstrated capability in delivering complex transport projects in Sydney.”
CPB Contractors is one of the construction businesses of CIMIC Group, based in Australia, that delivers lifecycle assets management as well as infrastructure and resources projects. The design and construct contract will generate around US$253.75 million (AUS$350 million) for CPB Contractors, according to the company.
Joe Barr, chief executive of John Holland, said he was pleased the government has taken the opportunity to accelerate the delivery the Western Harbour Tunnel by using the capability, resources and expertise of the team successfully delivering the Rozelle Interchange.
In December 2014, Leighton Holdings agreed terms with China Communications Construction to sell John Holland. The transaction was completed in April 2015 after the Australian federal government approved the sale.
The NSW government said that the $523 million (AUS$722 million) contract was awarded to deliver the first stage of tunnelling about 1.7km of tunnels from Rozelle to Birchgrove. Construction will begin within months for completion in 2025. The tunnel will take the pressure off other major roads including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor routes.
The government noted that it estimates the new tunnel will reduce traffic on the Western Distributor by 35 per cent, Harbour Tunnel by 20 per cent and Harbour Bridge by 17 per cent.