Road builders to tender for largest ever road project

THE company to build Australia's largest ever road project, the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway will be named next year following the call for tenders. 

The project, which has received $565.6 million to date in joint Federal State Government funding, has been advertised by NSW Roads and Maritime Services and gained international exposure with industry websites throughout Europe running tender information. 

In August, an industry briefing on the Federal and State government-funded project, attracted more than 250 people from 110 companies. 

The Woolgoolga to Ballina stretch is the missing link on the upgraded Pacific Hwy between Hexham and the Tweed and according to the politicians should be finished by the end of the decade.

To date 58% of the Pacific Hwy has been upgraded to dual carriageway while another 21% is under construction or set to start shortly. 

State Minister for Roads and Freight, Duncan Gay said that the Australian and New South Wales governments had provided funding to complete early work and planning on the upgrade. 

"While the delivery partner is procured, Roads & Maritime will continue with key early work such as implementing approval conditions for the project, continuing with land acquisition, starting soft soil treatments and moving public utilities," Mr Gay said. 

He said the project was expected to be completed by 2020. 

Tenders have been called on the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade.
Tenders have been called on the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Hwy upgrade.

Contracts are already in place to design and build the 105km of highway upgrade between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.

The first section to be built on the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade will be the stretch between Woolgoolga and Glenugie.

"Tenders for the 26km Woolgoolga to Glenugie construction works have been advertised," Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said.

The entire 155km project is expected to create significant employment with the tender to involve around 2,500 workers.

A further 6,500 indirect jobs are expected to be provided on the North Coast.

The Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway project.
The Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway project.

A briefing for pre-registered companies will be held in coming weeks.

Those interested in submitting an expression of interest will have to detail their plan to complete the project by 2020.

Companies will be invited to submit a proposal for the delivery partner role and a shortlist of applicants will then will be guided through a competitive process to develop their proposal including commercial terms.

Roads & Maritime will progress to a formal agreement with the preferred participant with an announcement expected in early 2015.