The Acciona-Arup Brisbane Move Consortium has been chosen as the preferred contractor to deliver a major part of the Brisbane Metro project, which will see hundreds of council buses taken off the road and replaced with bi-articulated electric buses capable of carrying up to 150 people.
Council has committed $644 million to the turn-up-and-go transport development, which will see a networked upgrade to the city's busway infrastructure along a 21-kilometre expanse between the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital and Eight Mile Plains, while the federal government has chipped in $300 million.
Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said the announcement of the successful contractor—comprised of Spanish group Acciona and global engineering firm Arup—marked an exciting milestone in the progress of the Brisbane Metro, with the contract expected to be finalised in the next few months.
“There are 2600 jobs in play across the project and hundreds of supplier opportunities on the table so it’s great news that we are now working with the preferred tenderer to get moving on the next phase of this crucial Brisbane project,” Schrinner said.
The announcement comes amid the rollout of state government construction stimulus packages and the fast-tracking of priority projects such as social housing and government infrastructure to help offset the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the local economy; we need construction projects to accelerate right now and today marks a line in the sand; Brisbane Metro is moving forward,” Schrinner said, adding that the project would be "vital" in driving Brisbane’s economic recovery and jobs growth post-pandemic.
The Queensland Major Contractors Association—of which Acciona is a member—welcomed the announcement.
“We are particularly pleased that the council listened to industry advice and is using a collaborative procurement-delivery model for this project," chief executive Jon Davies said.
"There are many risks involved with constructing a major infrastructure project in the heart of a city, and collaborative contracts enable a partnership-based approach to the management of those risks, resulting in improved project outcomes."
Davies said the announcement would provide certainty regarding the project, and see considerable investment made in employment, training and materials across the sector which will directly assist in kick-starting Brisbane’s economy post-Covid-19.
“Brisbane Metro is a critical project for Brisbane and will play a vital role in the city’s future transport infrastructure, further enhancing the liveability and connectivity of our city."
The Brisbane Metro project will be split into two parts and include 18 stations and 11 interchanges, with services expected to start running by the end of 2023.
A new underground station will be built at the Cultural Centre in South Brisbane as well as new busway tunnel underneath Adelaide Street in the CBD connecting to the Central Busway near King George Square underground station.
Both Acciona and Arup have had involvement in other Queensland projects including Brisbane's Legacy Way and Cross River Rail. Further afield, Acciona teamed up with Lendlease for works on Melbourne Rail last year; while Arup is part of the team behind a major upgrade of the Sydney Opera House.