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NZ metro reveals plans for an alliance approach

Construction of the stations, tunnels and rail systems for the Auckland City Rail Link in New Zealand is to be brought together under a single alliance following issues with contract holders going into administration.

City Rail Link chief executive Sean Sweeney said that “a single alliance will deliver positive outcomes and significant opportunities for the project”.

The City Rail Link project involves construction of a 3.5km tunnel to connect two key stations in Auckland by 2024.

The announcement comes after two businesses that were involved with the C7 systems contract had entered administration.

“We were notified on 21 November that RCR Tomlinson was in voluntary administration with administrators undertaking a trade sale of profitable parts of the business – including RCR Infrastructure NZ,” said Sweeney. “Since then we have worked hard to understand the impacts on the project and identify the best way forward to complete the C7 works.

“We have determined that the best-possible response is for the current C7 consortium to continue to deliver the design elements for the C7 systems. However, they will no longer submit a tender for the C7 construction works which will instead be incorporated into the C3 Main Station and Tunnels Alliance - due to start construction mid-next year.”

The C3 contract is currently in the final stages of a tender process with two shortlisted tenderers, who are the Link Joint Venture formed by Downer, Vinci Grands Projets, Soletanche Bachy, Aecom, Tonkin and Taylor and WSP Opus and a joint venture between CPB Contractors, UGL, Beca, McMillan Jacob and Jacobs.

The contract is expected to be awarded by the end of April and the successful tenderer will now deliver the stations, tunnels and the rail systems for the City Rail Link project.

According to Sweeney, delivering City Rail Link on schedule is a key priority and was a critical factor in deciding to go with a single alliance.

“By shifting to a single alliance model now we are ensuring no time lost on the procurement programme as a result of the RCR administration process,” he said. “It also removes the need for major interface coordination which means less risk and it reduces demands on resources across our delivery partners.”

He added that the C7 Consortium will continue to complete the design work which is likely to be finished by March.

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