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
Mott MacDonald and Sweco have won a £50M contract from Transport Scotland for the A96 Dualling road project in the UK.Under the contract, the joint venture will carry out route option assessment and detailed design work for the dualling of the 29-mile western section of the A96 between Auldearn and Fochabers next month.New Minister for Transport & Islands Humza Yousaf said: “This major design contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96 with all the investment and improvements that it will bring to local economies right across the north of Scotland.“Road users will not only enjoy the benefits of improved journey time and reliability, better connectivity between destinations but also, crucially, improved road safety for all those who use this key artery connecting two of Scotland’s economic hubs.“In addition, this contract will also provide a huge boost for the local and national economy, with the successful bidder securing steady work for years to come and many more opportunities for small and medium enterprises through subcontracted work.“We also remain on track to finalise the preferred option for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme, with draft Orders due to be published later this year.“Along with our ambitious plans to build over 80 miles of new dualled road on the A9 between Perth and Inverness, delivering the new £1.3 billion Queensferry Crossing over the Forth, and the £500M M8-M73-M74 improvements in Glasgow, this contract is yet another example of the significant investment the Scottish Government is making in transport infrastructure right across Scotland.”The A96 dualling is part of the Scotland’s trunk road upgrade project between Inverness and Aberdeen, to be finished by 2030.
The opening of the world’s longest rail tunnel is set to take place as planned on 1 June 2016.The CHF12.2bn ($12.3bn) Gotthard base tunnel, which measures 57km in length, runs under the Swiss Alps and is designed to reduce travel times across Europe. Construction of the tunnel started in 1999, 17 years ago, and since then 28.2m tonnes of mountain rock has been excavated during the tunneling works. Trains will be able to travel in the tunnel at speeds of up to 250km per hour, reducing the journey times between Zurich and Milan from more than four hours to just two-and-a-half hours.
Israel-based infrastructure firm Shikun & Binui has secured financing for the Cundinamarca 010 Toll Road Project in Colombia.The $640M project, part of a multinational plan to improve the country's road infrastructure system, includes the financing, construction, rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of a toll road that will span over nearly 154km.Shikun & Binui's subsidiary SBI, will provide construction services for the project agreed with the Government Infrastructure Authority at the Colombian Ministry of Transportation (ANI). The concession has tenure of 25 years, with an option to extend up to 29 years.Shikun & Binui chairman Moshe Lahmani said: "The financial closing of the project in Colombia is an additional significant milestone in realizing the Group's international strategy to expand its international infrastructure activity, and diversify its global operations."The completion of the financial closings in the USA and now in Colombia will contribute to the Group's record backlog. We will continue to compete for new mega projects in line with our strategic targets."
Swedish construction firm NCC has secured a contract from the Swedish Transport Administration to build the SEK3bn ($360M) central station phase of the West Link project in Sweden.The project will include the construction of a railway tunnel from the E6 Highway in the east, a rock tunnel through the Lejonet redoubt, an underground commuter train station located immediately north of Gothenburg Central Station, and the remaining railway tunnel to the west up to the Gothenburg Opera House, a section of nearly 2km.The contract will be delivered under a new model called Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) under which NCC, in partnership with the Transport Administration, will be responsible for project planning and cost optimization. NCC Infrastructure business area manager Svante Hagman said: “We are really positive to the fact that the Transport Administration has decided to procure this project as an Early Contractor Involvement contract.“This cooperative format will enable us to integrate our organizations and create joint understanding of the challenges that a project of this size involves. “We have previously worked in close cooperation on large-scale tunnel projects, such as the City Tunnel in Malmö and the Stockholm City Line, which has given us valuable experience in terms of sustainable technical solutions and the use of leading-edge technology in civil engineering works.”Construction is expected to commence in 2018 and the project is set to be completed in 2026.
The regional transit authority serving the Greater Seattle Area Sound Transit has inaugurated the University Link Light Rail Extension in Seattle.CH2M, serving as the lead in a construction management joint venture, announced that the rail project has been delivered six months ahead of schedule and about $200M under its $1.6bn budget.The 2.5km extension runs through twin-bored tunnels from downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington, with stations at Capitol Hill and on the university’s campus near Husky Stadium.The project involved nine separate contracts for the demolition, utilities, site preparations, two underground stations, 2.5km of twin-bore tunnel with precast placed liner, 21 hand-mined cross passages and expansion of the pre-existing rail yard. CH2M provided overall programme management, resident engineering, inspection, project controls, cost estimating, constructability reviews and contract administration for the project that lasted eight years.The project is estimated to nearly double weekday ridership on the existing light rail line to more than 70,000 riders by 2020.
Downer NZ has been awarded an $86M network outcomes contract (NOC) by the NZ Transport Agency to manage the Coastal Otago State Highway network in New Zealand.The scope of the contract includes the regular maintenance and operation of the 773km highway network, as well as the signage and markings, resurfacing, pavement rehabilitation, winter maintenance and incident response.Ian Duncan, NZ Transport Agency’s southern business unit manager, said: “The new $86 million contract starts this winter, from 1 July, and is part of a national Transport Agency initiative to improve the efficiency of roading maintenance through the engagement of a single supplier for each highway network on a performance-based contract.“Contract tenure will be based upon Downer achieving a number of monthly and annual performance measures which evaluate the efficiency, responsiveness and quality of their work.”This new contract model is set to deliver better operational outcomes and more efficient road maintenance.
The state government of Queensland has announced the environmental approval for the AUD347M ($251.1M) Sunshine Coast Airport runway expansion in Australia.The expansion project will include a new 2,450m by 45m wide east-west runway, capable of servicing aircraft such as the Airbus A330, Boeing 787 and Boeing 777.It will also include proposed changes to airspace and flight paths, two end taxiway loops, navigational aids and expansion of the existing apron, an air traffic control tower and aircraft rescue and fire-fighting services station.Queensland minister for state development and natural resources and mines Anthony Lynham said: “This project opens up the region to more national and international destinations such as Singapore and Perth and has the potential to bring almost half a million more visitors a year to the coast by 2040.“Most importantly, this will generate 1,500 more ongoing jobs by 2040, more than 80 construction jobs and an estimated $140 million-plus boost to regional economic activity during construction.“That represents business opportunities for local construction, manufacturing and professional services companies in the region.”
A joint venture between Jacobs Engineering and Aurecon has secured a contract to carry out the engineering design of the AUD5bn ($3,6bn) WestConnex New M5 Project in Australia.The New M5 motorway, the largest section of the WestConnex project, will link to the upgraded King Georges Road Interchange on the existing M5 East Motorway at Beverly Hills and run via twin tunnels to St Peters.The project, which is being delivered by the CPB Contractors-Dragados-Samsung joint venture, is set to double the M5 East corridor’s capacity, improving travel times and reliability for the 100,000 motorists that use the route daily.Three-dimensional design and building information management (BIM) systems are being implemented to design and document elements of the project in order to assist with the coordination and integration of design with other parties.Jacobs’ senior vice president of buildings and infrastructure Patrick Hill said: “We are very proud to be contributing to such a globally significant project, one that is set to have a positive impact on Sydney’s road network for many years to come.”
CIMIC Group subsidiaries Pacific Partnerships and CPB Contractors have been awarded the Canberra light rail stage one project by the Australian Capital Territory Government. The group is part of the Canberra Metro Consortium responsible for the project, and the scope of the work comprises the sponsorship, design, construction, operations, maintenance and equity investment of the Canberra metro.Stage one of the development includes the design and construction of a 12km light rail route from Gungahlin to the city with 13 stops, a depot, and road, signalling and preparatory works. It also involves the on-going operation and maintenance of the light rail system. The project will generate profits to CIMIC of approximately $300M over the design and construction period and $300M over the 20-year concession.CPB Contractors managing director Román Garrido said: “Stage one of Capital Metro will provide the backbone of an accessible and user-friendly public transport system and a new industry for Canberra.“The key to this project’s sustainable and successful delivery is the planned participation of local business. Creating local jobs and enhancing workforce capabilities will benefit future light rail stages and other regional infrastructure projects.”Construction work is expected to be complete in late 2018 and the metro is slated to be operational in early 2019.Canberra Metro comprises the CIMIC Group’s Pacific Partnerships and CPB Contractors, John Holland, Mitsubishi Corporation, Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, DB Engineering & Consulting, CAF and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Ltd (MUFG).
Plenary Roads Winnipeg has been selected as the preferred bidder to construct the Southwest Rapid Transitway (Stage 2) & Pembina Highway Underpass project in Canada.Estimated to cost $587.3M, the project is a public-private partnership with a design-build-finance-operate-maintain model — the private partner will design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the project.The project comprises significant infrastructure components in the southwest quadrant of the city including: the completion of Stage 2 of the Southwest Transitway; the addition of active transportation infrastructure; the renewal and expansion of the Pembina Underpass; and connections to the University of Manitoba and Investors Group Field.A request for proposals (RFP) was also issued seeking proposals to undertake a functional study to determine the most effective route for a rapid transit line from downtown Winnipeg to eastern Winnipeg. The move represents the initial step toward implementing the next rapid transit corridor.Construction work is expected to commence in mid-2016, with completion scheduled for 2019. Transit operations on the new transitway are anticipated to start in April 2020.
Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) has awarded four work package contracts worth MYR4.2bn (about $1bn) for the construction of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line in Malaysia. The contracts include two viaduct and two systems work packages.MRT Corp has awarded the MYR1.62bn ($401.6M) Systems Work Package SY203 to HAP Consortium for the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of electric trains and depot equipment for the SSP Line. A consortium of Bombardier (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Global Rail Sdn Bhd has won the second systems work package, Package SY201, valued at MYR458.02M ($113.5M) and covering the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of the signalling and train control system for the SSP Line. IJM Construction has secured Work Package V203 worth MYR1.47bn ($364.4M) for the construction of the 4.6km viaduct guideway and other associated works from Jinjang to Jalan Ipoh North Portal.Malaysian Resources Corporation has won Work Package V210 valued at MYR648M ($160.6M) for the construction and completion of the 2.6km viaduct guideway and other associated works from Persiaran APEC, Cyberjaya to Putrajaya Sentral.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to provide $250M for infrastructure projects in Egypt.EBRD has signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC) aimed at improving services in the transport and water sectors.Under the first MoU, EBRD will support the refurbishment of the Heliopolis tram link between the Ramsis and Almaza areas in Cairo. The entire cost of the project is estimated to be $500M.The second MoU is the bank’s first formal engagement in developing a water irrigation system — part of a programme developed by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) of Egypt for the modernisation of the irrigation system to increase efficiency and quality of services.
The UK government has given the go ahead for the upgrade of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.Estimated to cost up to £1.5bn, the 21-mile project will include a new bypass of Huntingdon between Swavesey and Brampton, the widening of sections of the A1 and A14 roads, and improvements to a number of junctions.The development will also involve improvements in Huntingdon Town Centre to include a new local access road.Highways England director for complex infrastructure Chris Taylor said: “The scheme will provide much needed additional capacity to improve journey times and safety.“We are keen to keep the momentum going and will get preparations for construction underway as soon as possible after the end of the six week statutory challenge period.”Construction work is set to commence in late 2016 with the new bypass and widened A14 opening to traffic in 2020.
Flatiron Construction and AECOM have been provisionally selected by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT) to design and construct the $215M C-470 Tolled Express Lanes Segment 1 project in the Denver metro area.The CDoT named the companies as the ‘Apparent Selected Proposer’ for the 12-mile project, which will involve the addition of two tolled express lanes on westbound C-470 from I-25 to Colorado Boulevard, along with the reconstruction of part of the existing pavement.It will include the addition of auxiliary lanes at selected locations, the replacement of bridges over the South Platte River and the widening of existing bridges throughout the project area.The development will also involve safety and operational improvements along C-470 between I-25 and Quebec by adding direct-connect ramps and grade separations for the multi-use trail.Flatiron will lead the fully integrated design and construction team, AECOM will provide construction and design services for the project expected to commence construction work in mid-2016. The lanes are set to be complete in early 2019.
Airport construction projects remain at a high with a total global investment of $638.7bn, according to a new report. The Global Airport Construction Projects report, from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), concludes that even though a financial crisis has been ravaging the global economy since 2008-09, air passenger traffic has been growing at an average pace of 5% annually.Airport construction activity has been growing fast in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions, which have now surpassed other global regions with total planned investment in airport mega-projects of $224.1bn and $172bn respectively.In the Asia-Pacific region, China has been leading the airport construction activity with investment of $47.8bn, followed by Vietnam with projects worth $28.7bn. Due to the increase in flights to China, where Beijing Capital International Airport is the world’s second busiest airport, the $11.3bn Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to be complete in 2025. Conversely, India’s value of airport projects is low when compared with countries in the same region.The demand in Middle East and Africa is high, with Dubai home to the world’s busiest international airport and Saudi Arabia requiring more capacity to cater the millions of visitors each year. Al Maktoum International Airport is a new airport project that will be part of Dubai World Central, providing a planned capacity of 220M passengers to the UAE.The highest-value project is the $36.2bn Istanbul New Airport development in Turkey, and the highest value pipeline project part of the planned $29.1bn Heathrow Expansion belongs to the UK, although the government has not yet given green light to the project, according to projects tracked by the CIC.Neil Martin, manager at Timetric’s CIC, said: “Global airport projects’ activity follows economic growth in the markets of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa. Both regions are registering new projects and the expansion of existing airports to service their growing economies and populations. Similarly, the developed markets of North America and Europe largely show expansion or renovation of existing airports such as London’s Heathrow and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. “Although South and Central America is lagging behind for value of projects, there is huge potential for the upgrade of its airports infrastructure, with the new US$14 billion Mexico City project potentially providing a model for the region.”* The Global Airport Construction Projects report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center provides market analysis, information and insights on over 550 large-scale live airport construction projects globally. In addition, the report also details airport construction investment in each of the five major global regions, as tracked by Timetric’s Construction analyst team. The projects are at various stages of development, from the ones that have been announced to those in execution. Read more on the report here.
Orascom Construction has won two more contracts for the third phase of Cairo Metro Line III, to execute the civil and track work. Stretching across 18km of tunnelling and viaduct works, the third phase will include 15 elevated, grade and underground stations. The contracts, with a combined value of about €270M, will bring the company’s share of the third phase of Cairo Metro Line III to €375M.Orascom will deliver the civil package in a consortium with VINCI, Bouygues and Arab Contractors, and the track works package in a consortium with TSO — the railway subsidiary of NGE Group — and ETF, a subsidiary of Eurovia. Orascom Construction CEO Osama Bishai said: “We are pleased to expand our market share in the transportation sector and particularly the Cairo Metro program.“We remain focused on adding quality contracts to our backlog that will lead to healthy returns for our shareholders.”
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a $357m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the construction of four new toll lanes on State Highway (SH) 288 in Houston, Texas.The project includes the construction of more than 10 miles of tolled lanes between US 59 and the Harris County line, including direct ramps to the Texas Medical Center, a new interchange with the Sam Houston Tollway and improvements to the Loop 610 interchanges.US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The TIFIA loan program is designed to help communities like Houston begin projects like this — a project that they would have otherwise had to wait years to start.“The new tolls lanes will provide a more reliable commute in one of America’s most congested metro areas, and improve access to jobs and community services in neighborhoods there.”