Toowoomba Second Range Crossing: Everything you need to know to supply for the project

Sasha Lincoln   |   November 26, 2015

Earlier this year Nexus Infrastructure was awarded the contract to design, construct, operate and maintain the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) - a $1.6billion, 41km road bypass route connecting the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east to Gore Highway at Athol in the west via Charlton. 

On Nov 26, Nexus Infrastructure held a TSRC information session, which covered everything from recruitment and resourcing of the project, to procurement and processes. Big projects have specific needs, and it's critically important to start preparing now if you wish to be apart of this major project. 

Here's what you need to know to increase your chances of working on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project: 

Project overview

The purpose of the TSRC project is to increase efficiency of freight transportation and to significantly improve diver safety and community amenity by removing heavy vehicles from the Toowoomba Central Business District. 

Key benefits to the region include:

  • 1,800 full-time jobs during the construction and maintenance phases
  • improved road and driver safety
  • reduced travel time across the range by up to 40 mins for heavy commercial vehicle
  • avoiding up to 18 sets of traffic lights
  • relieving pressure on Toowoomba's local roads by redirecting trucks away from the CBD
  • reducing wear and tear on vehicles by ensuring a maximum grade of 6.5% across the Toowoomba Range (significant decrease form the existing range crossing, 10%)
  • enhanced liveability for the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley areas by reduced truck noise, exhaust fumes and other forms of pollution. 

Construction works are expected to start in the first quarter of next year.

Upcoming packages

Project and design packages will go to market around March/April next year (2016), so if you are looking to take a piece of the pie start compiling your game plan now. A preliminary procurement schedule is available under the Project Documents on the ICN Gateway here. The structure of the packages will be determined later in the design phase, as will the procurement activity.

Packages they're looking for in the next few months include:

  • drainage
  • pre-cast materials
  • clearing and grubbing
  • formwork
  • aggregate
  • reinforcement works
  • earthworks

There are specific selection criteria which will be applied for suppliers and subcontractors which include:

  • prior safety performance, zero harm policy on project
  • prior work history
  • price
  • resources
  • local content
  • indigenous employment 
  • training record

If you are hoping to supply for the TSRC project, do your research on the mandatory and desirable criteria, and ensure you're able to meet these requirements before spending time filling out your bids. The QLD Gov have a Fit To Supply quiz on their website which can help assess your ability to supply to a major project.

Understand the fatigue management policy

This project has a huge focus on supporting increased productivity and economic development, especially within the region. 

Jeff Young, General Superintendent, said that this project has generated an "unprecedented amount of interest", and they are committed to employing locally.

Given the scale of this project, a fatigue management policy prevents anyone working on the TSRC to be outside a 75km radius. This means that any non-local suppliers will need to consider relocation costs should they wish to get involved. Those outside of this radius will not be eligible to work on the project. 

Project delivery

A large majority of the project will be delivered through subcontractors, and they have not yet decided on a labour hire company (or how many there'll be).

The Department of State Development aim to assist local businesses make the most out of the project, and as such will be holding multiple workshops to learn more about how to improve your chances of supplying to these projects. You can register here.

For those wanting to supply, the panel of speakers at the information session gave some invaluable tips to increase your chances of getting on the project.

Tip 1: Start preparing now – register to the ICN Gateway

Jose Antonio Sanchez, Project Director of Nexus Delivery said that they will be utilizing the ICN gateway as part of the procurement process, so if you aren't already registered, then go do it here. ICN will be shortlisting partial and full scope submissions, which they will present to nexus for a decision.

They will also be using the ICN Gateway to communicate supply opportunities to local industry. 

Tip 2: Know when you fit in the supply chain

A lot of companies out there have high ambitions for major project works but fail to address what needs to be done to hit targets.

Assess if it's worth spending the time and money compiling a bid for this major project and decide early if you are going to opt in or out.

Consider your suitability and whether you will be best for direct engagement or better suited for subcontractor type work. Understand and deliver on your value proposition - you're going to have to stand out in a project like this. 

Kristen Rose from the Department of State Development for Major Projects said "There will be a significant influence on national state and regional supply chains."

Tip 3 – Network!

Do the groundwork before the project is announced. Keep an ear out to try identify who the main contractor may be and start establishing relationships for subcontracting opportunities. Networking is such a valuable business development tool, so make sure you are getting out there and positioning your business for success.

Tip 4 – Price, capabilities and capacity all play a key role

Price is certainly an important factor for this project. You will need to remain competitive if you’re looking to supply, however look into areas where you can add value, and offer more than just price.

Make sure you are communicating both your capabilities and capacity to ensure you can deliver the project on time and within budget. A few things to note:

  • A list of past projects doesn't show enough - talk about solutions you came to when running into problems. They are looking for a level of detail to be competitive in this environment.
  • Strong management systems and processes are required for this project - ask yourself, do you have third party accredited systems in place?  

Tip 5 - Understand the Major Project environment 

Given this is a major project environment, it is very different to other projects many local suppliers may have worked on - it's a lot more formal. Unless you have a dedicated business development staff on board, you should probably look at up-selling skills.

This project will include a multi-tier supply chain; so don't just consider supplying for the tier above you. Look two/three tiers above you and try to meet the overarching goals of the main contractor.

If you align with this, you will be able to position yourself better as you get an understanding of what is truly required for the project. Formalise your own values and look at alignment with major parties within the project.

The TSRC project is certainly an exciting development for QLD and suppliers looking to work on the project need to invest time into the project now.

For those looking to put their bids forward, we’ve created a free eBook on 10 tips to successful tendering. The content of this eBook was developed from a QLD Government tendering workshop so be sure to download it below to get a thorough understanding of what's going to help your business stand out from the crowd. 

If you need to procure equipment quotes for your project, get in touch and we’ll dig you up rates for free.

Best of luck with the TSRC project! 

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