Newcastle City Council and NSW Gov still in debate as five companies bid to manage Newcastle light rail project

PlantMiner   |   April 28, 2016

The NSW Government’s latest project to revitalise Newcastle is one step closer to commencing. Five companies have been invited to tender for the main construction contract on the new light rail project.

The announcement comes after the State Government called for qualified organisations to register their interest for the Fixed Infrastructure Contract earlier this year.

The five companies bidding for the contract are:

  • CPB Contractors Pty Ltd
  • Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd
  • John Holland Pty Ltd
  • Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd, and
  • McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd

Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said that a main factor in selection was previous or current experience completing light rail construction projects. Mr Constance said that engaging organisations with the right experience and expertise would help the State Government in their commitment to delivering “a world-class light rail system in Newcastle”.

The selected tenderer is expected to be announced later this year after the State Government has assessed all five responses. 

Despite this step forward, there is still debate between the Newcastle City Council and the State Government on a main aspect of the project. The Council is pushing for “mixed running” and the State Government pushing for “separated running” along Hunter Street.

For those of you who are wondering what all of this means:

  • “Mixed running” means the trams would share lanes with cars. Approximately 80% of Melbourne’s trams are mixed running, but this is one of the oldest systems in the world
  • “Separated running” means the trams and motor vehicles would be in separate lanes – think of the trams on the Gold Coast, in Adelaide and in Sydney.

Should the State Government persist with its determination to have “separated running” on Hunter Street, the Council ‘s position would be that the entire operation should be shifted back to the heavy rail corridor – meaning back to train lines. Subscribe to Felix Project News and stay tuned on whether a mutual agreement is achieved.

Source: The Herald Sun 

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