The two shortlisted teams for the ECI phase are John Holland Seymour Whyte Aecom Joint Venture (HSA Group) and Bielby Hull Albem Coleman Joint Venture (BHA Coleman JV).
The Cairns Southern Access Corridor Stage 3 project will double the width of a 10.5km section of the Bruce Highway from Edmonton to Gordonvale. The Australian government has committed AU$384.8m (£216m) to the AU$481m (£270m) project, with the Queensland government contributing AU$96.2m (£54m).
“This is the busiest two-lane section of the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns. The highway will be widened from two to four lanes, a four-lane bridge will be built over several creeks and safety access improvements where the highway intersects with local roads will be made,” said deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development Michael McCormack. “These measures will go some way towards making this section of the highway safer and capable of catering for future traffic volumes.”
He added: “Contractors from both joint ventures have long histories successfully delivering major infrastructure projects in the North Queensland region.”
Queensland minister for transport and main roads Mark Bailey said that the ECI stage was a key phase in the project timeline. “It provides the two tenderers the opportunity to be involved in the preliminary design process and work closely with Transport & Main Roads,” he said. “Throughout the ECI process, the tenderers will consider design alternatives providing balance between functionality, project cost and construction impacts, as well as how innovative construction methods can be included in the design.”
Construction is expected to start in 2020 and be completed in mid-2023, weather permitting.