The NZ Transport Agency today announced the two shortlisted competitors to construct the Waterview Connection - the biggest and most complex roading project in New Zealand.
Two consortia led by The Fletcher Construction Co. Ltd, and Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd were shortlisted from three registered competitors, with the third consortia led by Baulderstone Pty Ltd only narrowly missing out on selection.
NZTA Auckland and Northland Regional Director Stephen Town says the announcement marks a major milestone in a very competitive and rigorous tender process.
“We have been incredibly impressed with the calibre of all of the submissions we have received on this project.
“Since the NZTA announced it was calling tenders in July, interested parties have been engaged in a very competitive and robust tender process that has attracted a high level of interest both nationally and internationally.
“We’re excited and encouraged that the final consortia selected will have the capability and capacity to deliver a high-quality project that will significantly improve transport for Aucklanders and deliver good value for money.”
The NZTA is running the tender process in parallel with its application for designation and resource consents through the new national consenting process. The application is currently before a Board of Inquiry that will hear all submissions on the project before a final outcome is known in July next year.
The NZTA will continue to meet with the shortlisted tenderers and evaluate submissions in parallel to the approvals process, and a contract will be awarded later in 2011 – once the final outcome of the Board of Inquiry process is known.
The remaining construction packages to complete the Western Ring Route are being procured separately with the aim of delivering a route that is operational by 2016.
“We are committed to delivering this essential project as quickly and efficiently as possible with the best value for money,” says Mr Town.
“Running the tender process in parallel could help save up to a year in the construction programme and enables us to make the most of favourable market conditions to get best market prices.”
The 4.5km Waterview Connection links the Southwestern Motorway (SH20) with the Northwestern Motorway at the Great North Road Interchange and includes the largest ever road tunnels in New Zealand for 2.5kms of the route.
It is crucial to unlocking the full benefits of the Western Ring Route – one of the seven roads of national significance enabling economic growth.
Mr Town says: “This exciting and complex project is a first for NZ and it will deliver many, many benefits for the country and the Auckland region. Its construction will create a significant number of jobs - approximately 1,000 at the peak of activity.”
“A completed Western Ring Route will provide a strategic alternative to State highway 1 and will reduce dependency on the Auckland harbour Bridge. It will provide better connections between the west and south of Auckland and will significantly ease congestion and improve trip reliability for both freight and people.” He adds.
Completing the Western Ring Route is one of the Government’s seven roads of national significance projects to support and enable economic growth for the country. It involves extending SH20 to connect with SH16 at the Great North Road Interchange, together with capacity improvements along the SH16 from St Lukes interchange to Westgate.
For more information on the tender process, or other aspects of the project visit: www.waterviewconnection.co.nz(external link).
The three consortia are:
The NZTA anticipates that it will award a final contact in August 2011 once the final outcome of the statutory approval process is known.
Running the procurement process in parallel with the statutory approval process saves the NZTA up to a year in its construction programme and makes the most of current economic conditions to ensure best market conditions. No construction work will begin until all necessary consents have been given.
The new national consenting process is a streamlined process for projects of national significance. The application for designation and resource consents has been submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and it was referred to a Board of Inquiry. The Board of Inquiry will hear all submissions on the project before a final outcome is known in July 2011.
For more information about the EPA visit www.epa.govt.nz(external link)
The cost to construct the Waterview Connection will fall within the allocated $2bn in funding. The NZTA is currently engaged in a competitive tender process that will reveal a detailed cost outcome as a result.
The July 2010, the NZTA Board approved $2.03bn in funding to complete the Western Ring Route.
Completing the Western Ring road of national significance includes a 4.5km extension of SH20 from Mt Roskill to link with SH16 at the Great North interchange – the Waterview Connection. 2.5km of this extension is made up of 2 x three-lane tunnels. Other works in the project include capacity improvements to SH16 from St Lukes to Westgate.
In March 2009, the Government announced seven ‘roads of national significance’ that are seen as lead infrastructure projects requiring high priority to enable regional and economic growth and development. The focus of the RoNS is on moving people and freight reliably, safely efficiently. There is a target to have all seven RoNS substantially completed by 2020.