THE West Australian Government last week said the Forrestfield-Airport Link has reached a major milestone, with a joint venture between Italian company Salini Impregilo and local company NRW Pty Ltd (SINRW) awarded a contract to design, construct and maintain the Forrestfield-Airport Link.
Premier Colin Barnett said the $1.176 billion contract had now been signed to deliver the main package of works on the rail line to Perth's eastern foothills. Mr Barnett confirmed a recent $490 million payment from the Australian Government to the State would go towards the project.
"SINRW are contracted to build the eight kilometres of rail tunnels and three stations for the Forrestfield Line, as well as maintenance of the tunnel and civil structures for 10 years after completion," the Premier said.
"This is a huge milestone on the path to delivering this project, which will change the face of Perth's eastern corridor and give people direct access to the airport by public transport.
"It's the biggest expansion of the city's rail system since the Mandurah rail line was completed."
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said early work, worth $370 million, was already underway for the construction of the Forrestfield Airport Line, including geotechnical work, contract management and land purchases.
"Various forward works have been underway at Forrestfield since November 2015 and I expect the joint venture to mobilise on site in the coming months. The project's direct employment is expected to peak at about 600 workers," Mr Nalder said.
Two of the stations on the Forrestfield-Airport Link have been renamed - Belmont (formerly Airport West) and Airport Central (formerly Consolidated Airport) - to more accurately reflect their purpose and locations.
The rail line will be tunnelled underground from a junction near Bayswater Station, under the Swan River and the airport, and out to Forrestfield. It is due to open in 2020.