CONSTRUCTION of the Darlington Upgrade on the North South Corridor is a step closer after two bidders were last week shortlisted to tender for the $620 million upgrade of the 2.3 kilometre section of Main South Road between the Southern Expressway and Ayliffes Road.
The two shortlisted bidders are Gateway South, a consortium consisting of a joint venture between Fulton Hogan Construction and Laing O'Rourke, Lend Lease, which is tendering in its own right.
Federal Assistant Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Jamie Briggs described the Darlington upgrade as an important project for southern commuters.
"The Darlington upgrade will deliver significant travel time savings for commuters travelling through this section of South Road, particularly during peak periods," Mr Briggs said.
"In March, we announced an improved design which will allow thousands of motorists and freight operators travelling to and from Flagstaff Road, Main South Road and the Southern Expressway to avoid three sets of traffic lights.
"Major construction on the Darlington Upgrade is due to start late this year with the project due to be completed at the end of 2018.
South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the two bidders were identified after expressions of interest were called earlier this year.
"The Darlington Upgrade is expected to support about 370 jobs a year during construction and we will conduct it in line with our Industry Participation Policy," Mr Mullighan said.
"The contenders' local industry participation plans will be weighted by 15 per cent as part of the tender process.
"That means local South Australian businesses and employees will leverage the maximum benefit available from the project."
Gateway South have identified Kellogg, Brown and Root, SMEC Australia and Jacobs Group as its exclusive design coalition for the project, while Lend Lease have engaged design firms ARUP, Parsons Brinkerhoff and Golder to support their bid.
The Australian Government is contributing 80 percent of the cost of the Darlington Upgrade project with the remaining 20 percent contributed by the State Government.
More information about the project is available from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website at <http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/darlington>.