As the lockdowns slowly start easing up in the majority of Australian states and territories, the growing construction industry looks forward to where all of the major work is going to be. Currently, the largest Australian infrastructure projects include:
- The $8.5 Billion. Bruce Highway Upgrade Program (QLD)
- The $9.3 Billion. Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail (National)
- The $11 Billion.Melbourne Metro Tunnel (VIC),
- The $12 Billion. Sydney Metro (NSW),
- The $16 Billion WestConnex (NSW),
- The $6.8 Billion West Gate Tunnel (VIC),
Here’s some basic background info about several of them:
The Melbourne Metro Tunnel (VIC)
The Metro Tunnel project at a cost of US $11 billion involves the construction of two rail tunnels at nine-kilometres each, starting from the west side of Melbourne and heading southeast. This project will be an integral part of the new line from Sunbury to Cranbourne/Pakenham as well as five new stations that will run underground, namely:
~ Arden Station,
~ Parkville (underneath Grattan St),
~ State Library (north end – Swanston Street),
~ Town Hall (south end – Swanston Street),
~ Anzac (under the Domain Interchange at St Kilda Rd),
The two stations that will be running under Swanston Street will directly connect to the City Loop at both the Flinders Street and Melbourne Central stations. They will help with untangling the city loop, allowing more trains to continue running more often all over Melbourne.
This tunnel will also be creating a new and greatly improved end-to-end rail line that will span from Sunbury (to the west) all the way to Cranbourne/Pakenham (in the southeast), offering both high-capacity trains and a total of five new stations running underground. It will also be creating higher capacity on the network for enabling better than 500,000 additional passengers weekly across the train network of Melbourne during peak periods of use.
The Sydney Metro (NSW)
The Sydney Metro is actually Australia’s largest public transport project with a price tag of US $12 billion. From the northwest, the metro rail system is being extended under Sydney Harbour, then through the new underground city stations, and beyond to the southwest.
On 19 December 2018, Metro was granted planning approval for upgrading the T3 Bankstown Line that runs from Sydenham and Bankstown to meet the metro standards. By 2024, customers will be benefiting from a brand new air conditioned Sydney Metro train running every four minutes during peak hours and traveling in each direction. It will also be complete with level platforms, lifts, and special platform safety screen doors that will also improve accessibility and increase security.
By the year 2024, Sydney will have a total of 31 metro railway stations along with a standalone metro rail system that spans 66 kilometres and will revolutionise the way the citizens of Australia’s largest city travel.
The Bruce Highway Upgrade Program (QLD)
This the most massive road infrastructure program that Queensland has ever seen. Its main aim is the improvement of flood resilience and safety, as well as an increase in capacity along the breadth and length of the highway that runs from Brisbane to Cairns.
The program started on 1 July 2013, and was initially developed as a 10-year US $8.5 billion commitment. It was jointly funded by both the Queensland and the Australian governments. And, in May 2018, the government of Australia committed another US $3.3 billion (based upon an 80:20 funding arrangement) in addition to the already existing US $6.7 billion commitment.
In addition, the government of Queensland committed to another US $200 million each year (based upon an 80:20 funding arrangement) for upgrading the Bruce Highway on top of their previous commitment in the amount of US $1.8 billion. So, the grand total that the program will deliver comes to US $12.6 billion over 15-years (2013 to 2028).
By March 2019, 22 major projects were completed under this program including delivering the following:
27 new rest stops
122 kilometres of safer roadsides
154 kilometre-wide centreline treatments
Boundary road interchange upgrades completed 6 months ahead of schedule
The program is also responsible for boosting employment opportunities and supporting regional economic growth in Queensland. It began on 1 July 2013, and includes a rolling upgrade project program that runs up and down the highway. The planned completion is currently scheduled for June 2028.