Second contract awarded for tunnel plans
A second contract has been awarded to carry out investigation work for the feasibility of Australia’s longest road tunnel project as part of the Great Western Highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said a joint venture of AECOM Australia and Aurecon Australasia was selected in a competitive tender process to provide the technical advisory services for the proposed 11-kilometre tunnel between Blackheath and Little Hartley.
“This is the next big step in a game-changing upgrade, and the final stage in confirming whether we can deliver the longest road tunnel in Australia for everyone who travels in, around and through the Blue Mountains,” Mr Toole said.
“AECOM and Aurecon will now carry out technical investigations and detailed studies to develop a preferred concept design, which will be used to select the preferred option and help develop the Environmental Impact Statement.
“Their findings will also be used to support future procurement for the project and ensure we deliver the best outcome for the challenging terrain and sensitive environmental surrounds.
“AECOM was also recently awarded the contract for the tunnel’s environmental assessment, so this will ensure close collaboration between both sets of work.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Sam Farraway said the technical advisory services contract award builds upon the contract awarded last month to AECOM Australia to draft the Environmental Impact Statement, which will be put on display for extensive community consultation next year.
“This tunnel is going to provide double the capacity for all motorists driving to and from the Central West,” Mr Farraway said.
“It’s great to see this project powering ahead because it will completely transform journeys through the Blue Mountains.”
Construction work on the first stage of the Great Western Highway upgrade between Katoomba and Lithgow is on track to start in late 2022.