THE Australian and South Australian governments last week called for expressions of interest from the private sector for the construction of the $985 million Northern Connector road project, which is due to be completed in 2019.
Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said interested bidders can now nominate to be considered to design and construct the new six-lane, 15.5 kilometre link between the Northern Expressway, the South Road Superway and the Port River Expressway.
"The Northern Connector is expected to provide a much needed boost to the local economy, supporting on average 480 jobs a year during construction, and will stimulate a greater economic contribution from South Australia's transport network," Mr Fletcher said.
"More than 52,000 vehicles are expected to use the Northern Connector on weekdays.
"This project is part of the upgrade to the 78 kilometre North-South Corridor, which will help drive economic growth, strengthen local communities and stimulate urban renewal."
South Australian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the project will be subject to an increased local industry participation weighting which will create jobs in the northern suburbs.
"The Northern Connector project will be subject to a 20 per cent weighting under the government's Industry Participation Policy, giving companies which support South Australian workers an advantage when bidding for government work," he said.
"The participation of more than 200 people in a recent industry briefing on the Northern Connector project indicates the strong level of interest in this project.
"An increased industry participation weighting will boost the chances of local sub-contractors and suppliers reaping the benefits."
The Australian Government is committing $788 million to the project, with the South Australian Government providing the remaining $197 million.
The two governments are working together with industry to develop a heavy vehicle network based charging trial in South Australia. Ministers discussed at their meeting today opportunities to progress a trial involving the Northern Connector. These trials are necessary to test future funding approaches to infrastructure.
Early works are expected to begin in early 2016 with major construction planned to commence in May 2016. The project is expected to be completed in December 2019.
More information about the Northern Connector project is available from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website at <http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/nsc/northern_connector>.