$450 million Princes Highway upgrade contract awarded

The state government has gone with a different construction company to design and build the final stage of the Princes Highway upgrade.

Fulton Hogan built the first stage at Gerringong and the Foxground and Berry Bypass.

It was one of the four companies on the government’s shortlist to build the Berry to Bomaderry stage with some expecting them to get the nod given it already had workers on the ground.

Instead, the government has gone with consortium Downer and Seymour Whyte to design and construct the $450 million project.

“Obviously we have to assess each and every contract on its merits,” Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said.

“That’s been done independently and they’ve been successful in their bid. I look forward to working with them.”

The upgrade will see 10.5-kilometres of four-lane highway built between Mullers Lane and the roundabout at Cambewarra Road at Bomaderry.

The upgrade will include three overpasses –  at Jaspers Brush Road and Strongs Road, Morschels Lane and Devitts Lane, and Pestells Lane and Meroo Road.

Mr Ward said construction work on the final stage was likely to begin in the coming months.

“We’re anticipating construction work getting underway mid-2018 so I would expect we’ll have the official sod-turning ceremony later this year,” he said.

Mr Ward said the work would take around three-and-a-half years to complete “but hopefully we can do it a lot quicker than that”.

At 10.5 kilometres the upgrade is three kilometres longer than the Gerringong stage and two kilometres shorter than the Foxground and Berry Bypass.

Mr Ward said the third stage would be less complicated than stages one and two.

“Gerringong and Berry were by far the most difficult,” Mr Ward said.

“Berry probably more so, because of the amount of fill and excavation work that needed to be done.

“Gerringong [was difficult] from a flooding perspective with the number of bridges.

“This is probably the easiest of the three and I’m pleased we’re investing in it.”

Source: Illawarra Mercury