Politics

Vic seeks bids for Melbourne rail loop

Construction giants have been invited to pitch to build the first phase of Melbourne’s suburban rail loop, billed as the biggest public transport project in Australian history.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has opened expressions of interest for the project after $2.2 billion was set aside in last month’s budget to start early works on the proposed 90km rail line.

The Victorian government says it has already fielded pre-qualification interest from Australia’s leading construction companies to carry out the works which include upgrading roads and power supplies, building new sub-stations and preparing sites for tunnel boring machines.

“This is the biggest transport project in Victorian history and it will transform our state forever – we know that the best construction companies want to be a part of delivering it,” Ms Allan said in a statement on Monday.

“We said we’d get on and deliver stage one of suburban rail loop and we’re not wasting a second.”

The early phase of construction works is due to start in 2022 and create an estimated 800 jobs.

Stage one of the suburban rail loop will build a 26km twin tunnel from Cheltenham to Box Hill, with other stations at Southland, Clayton, Glen Waverley, Monash and Burwood.

The entire project will extend the line through Melbourne’s northern suburbs to the airport and take up to 25 years to build at a cost of over $50 billion.

The expressions of interest process will close at 2pm on January 29.

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