SRL East preferred bidder flagged

The preferred bidder for the first major tunnelling contract on Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop East project has been announced by Victoria’s state government.

The Suburban Connect consortium is the front runner to construct a 16-kilometre section of the 26-kilometre long twin tunnels in the SRL East project. The consortium comprises CPB Contractors, Acciona and Ghella.

The contract is expected to be awarded by the end of this year and a second contract for the remaining tunnels between Glen Waverly and Box Hill will be awarded in 2024.

The contract package includes the 16-kilometre tunnel sections, which will be Victoria’s longest rail tunnels, including tunnelling between Cheltenham and Glen Waverley, and construction of two underground station boxes. Also included are the construction works at the Southern Stabling Yard, CPB Contractors revealed.

Jason Spears, managing director of CPB, CIMIC’s construction arm, said people in Victoria would benefit from the project through jobs and sustainability outcomes.

Up to 8000 direct jobs will be created in the project and deliver six new underground stations between Cheltenham and Box Hill, Victoria’s Big Build stated.

Major tunnelling works with TBMs are expected to start in 2026, however, it will be more than a decade before the entire project is finished. Victoria’s Big Build said trains are not expected to be taking passengers on the SRL East until 2035.

Image: Big Build Victoria.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.