Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) have achieved financial closure to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Purple Line project in Maryland, USA. The $5.6bn project, which includes a $2bn design-build contract, includes the construction of 21 stations along a 16.2-mile alignment extending from Bethesda, in Montgomery County to New Carrollton, in Prince George’s county.The closure includes $313M in ‘Green Bonds’ from Private Activity Bonds underwritten by JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets and follows approval of a $874.6M Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan from the United States Department of Transportation last week.Herb Morgan, Purple Line Transit Partners CEO, said: “Purple Line Transit Partners is pleased to reach financial close on this important project.“This milestone, plus the recent Board of Works action approving the P3 contract, solidifies Maryland’s leadership in protecting and enhancing the state's fiscal integrity by advancing a public-private partnership project that will transfer construction, operation, maintenance and performance risks to the private partners all while ensuring riders and stakeholders receive improved mobility, environmental compliance and safety. “Our team is looking forward to working with Maryland communities to start construction later this year and deliver this innovative project at a fixed-price and on schedule."The Purple Line Transit Constructors team has began initial design and survey work with construction expected to start later this year and passenger service scheduled for early 2022. Following construction, Purple Line Transit Operators will provide 30 years of operations and maintenance services.
KTC Civil Engineering & Construction has secured a SGD418M ($311M) contract from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) for the construction of Sungei Bedok station and its associated tunnels. The new contract represents the last of nine major civil contracts for Thomson–East Coast Line (TEL) in Singapore.KTC Civil Engineering is currently involved in the construction of Downtown Line 3 (DTL3) Tampines station, as well as TEL’s Orchard Boulevard station.Sungei Bedok station, to be constructed as a civil defence shelter, will be an interchange station connecting TEL with the DTL. As part of the 43km-long TEL, the 13km East Coast stretch will also connect commuters to the Thomson stretch of the TEL, which serves the north-south corridor.The East Coast stretch, to be completed in two stages, will have nine stations, including one that will interchange with the Downtown Line at Sungei Bedok.The first seven stations from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore will be completed in 2023, while the remaining two stations will be finished in 2024.
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has approved a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan of $874.6M to Purple Line Transit Partners for the implementation of the Maryland Purple Line project. The 16.2-mile project includes 21 stations and connects many communities in Maryland, from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.The project, owned by the Maryland Department of Transportation, will be implemented on a design-build-finance-operate-maintain basis.The project was procured as a public-private partnership under a concession agreement that was executed in April 2016, and expires about 30 years after substantial completion, which is expected in March 2022.
Ground has been broken on the $1.12bn NorthLink WA project to provide a non-stop transport between Morley and Muchea in Western Australia.The project will transform Tonkin Highway into a six-lane freeway between Guildford Road and Reid Highway, with new interchanges at Collier Road and Morley Drive, and a flyover at Benara Road.Other flyovers will be constructed at Beechboro Road North and Marshall Road, with interchanges at Hepburn Avenue, Gnangara Road and The Promenade at Ellenbrook. The first section of the project, which is being delivered by John Holland, includes the construction of the Collier Road and Morley Drive interchanges and the Benara Road flyover.Great Northern Connect, a joint venture between BGC Contracting and Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction, has been selected as the preferred proponent for the next section between Reid Highway and Ellenbrook. The JV will oversee the design and construction of nearly 20km of highway, four interchanges, 14 road bridges and three footbridges. Construction work is expected to commence in early 2017.The overall project will create about 1,000 direct jobs.
Mott MacDonald has been chosen by the Centro American Corporation of Air Navigation Services (COCESNA) to lead a site study, design and masterplan for a new international airport in Costa Rica.The new metropolitan airport — to be located in Orotina, Alajuela — is part of the modernisation and growth of air transport in the country.The scope of the work, conducted by Mott MacDonald, involves technical, environmental and financial advisory and airport development planning — including traffic forecasting, infrastructure layout and terminal design. This is set to take 12 months, after which the consultancy firm will provide COCESNA with the infrastructure plans and associated financial requirements to develop the new airport. Mott MacDonald’s project director Horacio Rossi said: “The new airport will be a significant development for Costa Rica and support economic growth in the region. The additional capacity will enable an increase of international flights, benefitting both export and tourism.“Our experience consulting on Mariscal Sucre International Airport gave us specific expertise in developing new airports on Greenfield sites, as well as relocating a country’s main airport due to existing site expansion constraints. We are delighted to lead an integrated team on this project, which includes FSA, Enroute and Gensler.”The airport is expected to be complete in 2026.
LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) consortium has started construction on a new 130,000sq m Terminal B building at LaGuardia Airport in New York, USA.The consortium includes Vantage Airport Group, Skanska and Meridiam, together with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.The $4.2bn project will involve the construction of a 35-gate terminal, along with a new west parking garage and other supporting facilities.Work will commence with a roadway network and a new 3,000-space parking garage that will minimise congestion at the airport. The project design reflects the recommendations from the Governor’s Airport Advisory Panel, which includes the new light-filled central hall where passengers arrive, set to connect Terminals B and C.LGP and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have recently secured financing for the project.The new airport, expected to achieve LEED Gold certification, is set to open in 2018, with all portions of the redesigned Terminal B scheduled to open by the end of 2021. The project is expected to create 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs.
The €382M Kieldrecht Lock has been inaugurated at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.Measuring 500m in length, 68m in width and 17.8m in depth, the Kieldrecht Lock is said to be the largest lock in the world.The new lock, which has been built over five years, is expected to strengthen the position of the Port of Antwerp as a major hub of the EU Trans- European Network (TEN-T).The European Investment Bank (EIB) has financed the project with a contribution of €160.5M.Antwerp Port Authority chairman Marc Van Peel said: “The Kieldrecht Lock forms a necessary key to the further development of the port on the left bank of the Scheldt River. In recent years, our port had successfully overcome many hurdles, now ranking as number two in Europe.“In order to retain that leading position, Antwerp must have a highly necessary basic infrastructure such as well-functioning locks that are adapted to the increased scale of international shipping.“However, Antwerp also needs space to grow, which explains the first phase of the construction of the Saeftinghedok — a new tidal dock on the left bank of the Scheldt river — the next infrastructural project that is high on the agenda.”
A joint venture of Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors has secured a €590M contract to deliver Phase 4B of Cairo Metro Line III in Egypt.Under the contract, awarded by the National Authority for Tunnels, the JV will be responsible for the full scope of the new phase that will stretch 6.1km across a viaduct and five elevated stations.Orascom Construction’s share of the contract is valued at about €295M. Phase 4B follows the group’s previously-announced contract awards for the third line of Cairo Metro.The group is currently executing contracts amounting to about €375M for Phase III and €90M for Phase 4A.
Dragages Hong Kong has chosen Nicolas’ MGD G2 SPE modules for the transport of pre-cast bridge elements for the Hong Kong-Zhubai-Macau bridge project in China.The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project, with an estimated cost of $10.6bn, will connect Hong Kong to Zhubai and Macau — three major cities on the Pearl River Delta.The on-going development involves the construction of an offshore bridge and tunnel, the Boundary Crossing Facilities Island and link roads.The combined 22.9km-long bridge and 6.7km-long tunnel are expected to reduce travel times from Hong Kong to Macau and Zhugai from more than three hours to half an hour.According to Nicolas the MGD G2 SPE modules to be used in the project are in use all around the world under the toughest conditions — including in salty air, dusty environments and poor underground areas.Jannick Mathieu, Nicolas’ area manager sales at TII Sales, said: “With the second generation of this proven vehicle we provide the specifications the industry needs, no matter if we are talking about the impressive bending moment, a multitude of precise steering modes or the sturdiness and long-term reliability of the Nicolas MHD G2.”
A GMR Infrastructure-led consortium has secured an INR28.8bn ($432.2M) contract for the construction of a 221km road project in India.The stretch is part of the Eastern arm of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project and will be executed on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. The project, financed by World Bank, is split into two packages. The first package includes a 175km single line connecting Sahnewal and Pilkhani, passing through Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, while the second package is a 46km double line corridor in Uttar Pradesh connecting Dadri and Khurja.Under the contract, the consortium will be responsible for the design and construction of civil, structures and track works for single and double lines.GMR Infra said that the two packages are anticipated to be complete in 44 and 36 months respectively.
Larsen & Toubro’s construction unit has secured contracts worth INR21.61bn ($323.9M) across various business segments.The firm’s transportation infrastructure business has won an INR8.47bn ($126.9M) design and construction contract from the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.The contract, secured by L&T and Instalaciones Inabensa consortium, includes electrification works for the 417km section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) from Mughalsarai to New Bhaupur in Uttar Pradesh, India.The work also involves the construction of seven traction sub stations, 18 switching stations, 881 track km of overhead equipment, SCADA and electrical and mechanical works along with the supply of all associated equipment. The company’s water and effluent treatment business has secured an INR7.09bn ($106.2M) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from the Gujarat Water Infrastructure. The scope of the work includes the design and construction of 146km of mild steel pipelines and 26km of ductile iron pipelines.The business has also won a contract from Rajasthan Urban Drinking Water Sewerage & Infrastructure Corporation Limited for the design, construction and commissioning of sewage treatment plants and sewage pumping stations along with sewer networks in Alwar, Sikar and Bhiwadi, in the Rajasthan state.The company’s power transmission and distribution business has secured EPC orders worth INR4.03bn ($60.3M) from Power Grid Corporation of India Limited for the construction of a 400kV double circuit transmission line package from Tumkur to Hiryur in Karnataka.The business also won a contract from Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation Limited for the construction of 220/66kV substations along with the associated transmission line network.Additional contracts worth INR2.02bn ($30.2M) were awarded to the company’s metallurgical and material handling business from various ongoing jobs of this business.
Auckland Transport has broken ground on the $2.5bn City Rail Link (CRL) project in New Zealand. The project includes the construction of 3.4km twin tunnels up to 42m below the city streets, using a 7.5m diameter tunnel boring machine.The rail link will also involve two new underground stations at Aotea and Karangahape Road and a re-developed Mount Eden Station.Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy said: “It will change the look and feel of Auckland setting the city up for future growth. Making public transport a better travel choice will ease pressure on roads for those who need to use them.”Work on the project is expected to last for five and a half years. Upon completion, the project would almost double the number of people on the trains to 30,000 an hour at peak times.
Lendlease Group has been selected as the preferred contractor to design and build the $985M Northern Connector road project in Adelaide, South Australia.The project will include the construction of a new motorway with three lanes in each direction. The 15.5km road is set to link the Northern Expressway with the South Road Superway and the Port River Expressway.It will also involve four interchanges and a 16km path for cyclists and pedestrians. Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said: “The Northern Connector will provide enormous productivity benefits for freight travelling between Adelaide and the northern, western and eastern parts of South Australia, as well as to and from other states.“The six-lane motorway is expected to significantly improve freight access to Port Adelaide and the industrial areas of Adelaide’s north and north-west, bypassing six sets of traffic lights.“It will also deliver enormous benefits for the 52,000 vehicles a day expected to use it when completed.”Major works are anticipated to commence in the third quarter of 2016 and the project is scheduled to be complete in December 2019. The project will create about 480 jobs a year during construction.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has started construction on a new air traffic control tower and radar approach control at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina.The new 370ft-tall air traffic control tower will be equipped with NextGen technology and will provide air traffic controllers with a bird’s-eye view of the airfield, and will accommodate current operations and future growth.The 80sq m tower cab has enough space to accommodate additional future air traffic control positions. The 3,900sq m base building will accommodate an expanded terminal radar approach control (TRACON), with space for future growth.It will also include training rooms, administrative offices, and a power distribution supply system along with the latest aviation security and air traffic simulation capabilities.In January 2016, the FAA awarded a $60M contract to Archer Western Construction to build the new facility. The total project cost, including equipment, installation, training costs, and demolition of the old tower, is estimated at $112M.Construction on the tower and TRACON base building is expected to be complete in 2018, and the facility is scheduled to be operational in 2020.
Skanska, as part of LaGuardia Gateway Partners consortium, has reached financial closure and signed a lease agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) for LaGuardia Project in New York.With a lease term through 2050, the public private partnership (PPP) includes finance, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B.The design-build contract is valued at about SEK33bn ($4bn). Swedish company Skanska has a 70% stake in the contract, worth nearly $2.8bn.The deal also involves the construction work for supporting infrastructure and a new central entrance hall.Terminal B, opened in 1964, serves over 14m passengers per year. The new LaGuardia Central Terminal B, which will be constructed next to the existing terminal, has been designed to attain LEED Silver certification.Skanska’s CEO and president Johan Karlström said: “This is Skanska’s largest project ever. We are proud to invest in and lead construction of this project that will improve the quality of air travel for millions of people.“The LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B project is a perfect example of how we, through Public Private Partnership, can expedite delivery of critical infrastructure, bringing together Skanska’s construction and investment capabilities. We have a strong position in the growing US market for PPP projects.”LaGuardia Gateway Partners includes Skanska Infrastructure Development, Vantage Airport Group and Meridiam as project sponsors and co-investors, with Vantage Airport Group managing operations.New facilities will start opening in 2018, with scheduled substantial completion in 2022.
Russian real estate development company LSR Group has begun construction on a new tram network in Krasnogvardeysky, St. Petersburg.The corresponding concession agreement was inked between the government of Saint Petersburg and Transportnaya Kontsessionnaya Kompaniya, a joint venture of LSR Group and Leader Investment Company. The overall project, including the upgrading of existing lines and the construction of a new tram network and its operation over the period of 30 years, is expected to cost RUB32.7bn ($488.6M).In particular, the construction and maintenance of the tram network will require an investment of RUB12.7bn ($189.7M).Construction work is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has started construction on a $172M maintenance and administrative facility for light-rail vehicles serving the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project and the Metro Green Line.The 11,000sq m facility, named ‘Southwest Yard’, is located near Los Angeles International Airport and will be constructed by a Hensel Phelps/Herzog joint venture.The project will feature a main shop, a washing facility, a cleaning platform, a material storage building and a wheel truing shop. It will also have the capacity to store 70 light rail vehicles, with the possibility of being expanded in the future.The building has been designed to achieve LEED Silver certification and will include sustainable features such as bicycle parking, designated parking for low-emitting, fuel-efficient and carpool/vanpool vehicles and electric vehicle charging.Metro’s CEO Phillip Washington said: "The 200 people to be employed here will be working in a state-of-the art facility designed to keep our new system in a state of good repair."
The Femern Link Contractors joint venture has won three conditional contracts for the Femernbelt transport link between Denmark and Germany.The contracts from the Danish government, which have a total value of €3.4bn, include the design and build of what is set to be the world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel.One of the contracts covers the building of the portal structures, toll buildings, bridges and ramps, while the other two cover the construction of the immersed tunnel and the factory that will manufacture the precast tunnel elements.The tunnel will be 18km long and will connect Denmark’s Lolland Falster region with Germany’s Schleswig Holstein region, shortening the journey between both countries from one hour by ferry or a 160km detour by car to just ten minutes by car or seven minutes by train.The joint venture, which includes VINCI Construction Grands Projects, Per Aarsleff, Royal Bam Group, Solétanche-Bachy International, CFE and Max Bögl Stiftung & Co, is expected to start construction work in January 2018, subject to permits from the German Government.The link will take approximately eight and a half years to complete.
Turkey-based Limak Construction has secured a contract from the Kuwait's Ministry of Public Works to build the new terminal at Kuwait International Airport (KIA).The company has submitted the lowest bid of $4.34bn to carry out the construction work on the new terminal. The contract includes the provision of maintenance for an additional two years.Upon completion, the new passenger terminal will have the capacity to handle 25M passengers annually and accommodate all aircraft types through 51 gates and stands. The project, designed by Fosters + Partners, will feature the latest technology and will be able to generate 12MW of solar power through 66,000 panels, to be installed on the terminal’s roof. Limak Group vice chairman Sezai Bacaksiz said: “The project is more than an airport, it is a link between the two countries; Kuwait and Turkey, between two economies, between two societies.“As a result of this link, new technologies will be introduced and transferred, new jobs will be created locally, planned local procurement will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, local businesses will flourish, all while we train and equip Kuwaiti men and women of the future through the various education and empowerment initiatives that we have planned for Kuwait over the next six years and beyond.”The new terminal, aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification, is scheduled to be complete in six years.
After the tunnel’s first blast in the main shaft 17 years ago, the Gotthard base tunnel in Switzerland opens today. To celebrate the completion of the world’s longest rail tunnel, the country is holding an opening ceremony.1,200 guests have been invited for the festivities that are expected to cost €8M. German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi are among the guests of honour at the ceremony. At the weekend, additional opening events are expected to attract 50,000-100,000 visitors.The longest tunnel — named after the patron saint of travelling merchants, St Gotthard— runs through the Alps, between Erstfeld, Uri, and Bodio, Ticiano. Trains using the €11bn rail tunnel won’t go into service until 11 December 2016, when it will be fully operational. Until then, test runs will be conducted at the rail line.When fully operational, 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will travel through the two-way tunnel each day, reducing the journey times between Zurich and Milan from more than four hours to just two-and-a-half hours. Travel through the tunnel itself will take just 20 minutes, with a stop at the control station of Sedrun.Gotthard has overtaken the 53.9km Seikan Tunnel in northern Japan as the longest rail tunnel in the world, demoting the 50.5km Channel Tunnel between Britain and France to third place.The Gotthard base tunnel in numbers: • Start of construction works: 1999• Length: 57.09km• Total length of tunnels: 151.84km• Diameter of rail tunnels: 8.5m• Highest elevation: 549m• Depth: 2,300m• Mountain rock excavated: 28.2M tonnes• Concrete used: 131,000cu m• Workforce: up to 2,600• Maximum train speed: up to 250kph• Cost: €11bn