THE West Australian Government last week announced that a key component of the Perth City Link project – the $175 million contract to design and build the new underground Wellington Street Bus Station – has been awarded to the City Busport Alliance.
Acting Transport Minister Mike Nahan said the consortium, which comprises Brookfield Multiplex and BG&E, has won the tender to partner with the Public Transport Authority to build the new state-of-the-art underground bus station in Perth.
The new underground Wellington Street Bus Station will be located where the above-ground station is currently located. It will include Australia's first dynamic bus allocation system, which aims to improve turn-around times within the station by allocating the next available bay for a bus to arrive at.
While the main contract is worth approximately $175 million, the total bus project cost is $249 million as a result of costs for the facility's Intelligent Transportation System, temporary works and work being undertaken as part of the rail component. The project is being jointly funded by the State Government ($237 million) and the City of Perth ($12 million).
The awarding of the contract follows the issuing of a Request for Proposals in January this year. In June, the West Australian Government announced that the City Busport Alliance and the Translink Alliance, which involved John Holland and Aurecon, had been shortlisted to develop detailed proposals for the Public Transport Authority (PTA).
"The $249million project is the second stage of the visionary Perth City Link project, which is reconnecting Northbridge with the CBD," Dr Nahan said, with the $360 million rail component forming the first stage of the project.
The rail project involved the sinking of the Fremantle Line between William Street and Lake/King Street and upgrades to Perth Station. The first trains travelled through the 600-metre tunnel in July this year and the entire rail project is scheduled for completion in 2014.
"This project is fundamentally transforming our capital - the Wellington Street Bus Station opened in 1973 and will be the last established building on the Perth City Link site to be demolished," the Acting Minister said.
"When the 40-year-old structure comes down early next year and works starts on the underground bus station, the people of Perth will have an unrestricted view from one side of the site to the other for the first time in decades."
Dr Nahan said the project would deliver Perth commuters one of the world's most modern and sophisticated bus stations and by moving its operations underground, it would allow the key thoroughfares of King and Queen streets to reconnect Perth to Northbridge.
"By 2031, it is estimated that about 25,000 passengers will be using the new busport each day, with more than 220 bus movements an hour at peak times," Dr Nahan said.
Construction of a temporary bus station for passengers is already underway on the Roe Street side of the site and a second temporary bus station will also be built on Wellington Street. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2016.
The Perth City Link project aims to reconnect the CBD with Northbridge and create a vibrant new mixed-use precinct. It is expected to attract $4 billion worth of private investment and provide approximately 244,000 square metres of commercial and retail space and around 1,650 new dwellings, according to the government.