Acting Premier Jacinta Allan announced that the final bids for the $6 billion Tunnel and Stations Public Private Partnership (PPP) have been received, and are being assessed by the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority.
“The bids are in, early works are approved and we’re getting on with building the Metro Tunnel – to run more trains, more often right across Melbourne," Ms Allan said.
The Victorian Government dubbed the metro tunnel the 'biggest public transport project in Victoria’s history'.
The bids were from three shortlisted consortia:
[Related article: Getting Melbourne Ready For The Metro Tunnel Project]Early works on the $10.9 billion mega-project have received formal planning approval, so momentum is expected to pick up over the coming months.
The Victorian Government said piling rigs are now on site at Franklin and A’Beckett Streets and construction crews will begin driving massive concrete poles deep into the ground.
The concrete poles, which will be introduced this week, will reinforce the walls of the 35 metre-deep shaft where the new underground station will be built.
Early work will also take place at City Square over the coming months to build another underground station, which will have a direct connection to Flinders Street Station, the City Loop and the rest of the train network.
The government expected that building the Metro Tunnel will create the need for at least 4,700 local jobs.
A contract for the PPP is expected to be awarded by the end of the year; in time for construction on the tunnels and stations package to begin in 2018.