The NZ Transport Agency has today announced that it will enter into Preferred Bidder negotiations with the Northern Express Group for the Pūhoi to Warkworth project – the second Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a state highway project in New Zealand.
NZ Transport Agency Chief Executive Fergus Gammie said the Northern Express Group was one of three shortlisted consortia that the Transport Agency had invited to submit a proposal for the financing, design, construction, management and maintenance of the Pūhoi to Warkworthmotorway under a PPP procurement.
“The next step will see the Transport Agency and the Northern Express Group enter into contract negotiations. Pending the successful completion of negotiations, we expect to award the PPP contract for the Pūhoi to Warkworth project by late 2016. The contract price will be confirmed at that point,” Mr Gammie said.
The Northern Express Group will then finance, design, construct and maintain the new Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway for the 25 years that will follow the expected six-year period to build the motorway. Full ownership of the highway will remain with the public sector. It is aimed to have the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway open for traffic by 2022.
The Northern Express Group is made up of firms with considerable experience in the design, construction, finance, maintenance and management of key infrastructure projects. The principal partners in the consortium include:
Mr Gammie said that the Preferred Bidder announcement is a key milestone for the 18.5km Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway. The project will form the first section of the Government’s Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance (RoNS), which aims to extend the Northern Motorway (SH1) from the Johnstone's Hill tunnels just south of Pūhoi to a point north of Wellsford.
Investigations are currently underway on the Warkworth to Wellsford section, with an indicative route expected to be released for public consultation in November 2016.
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