Brisbane City Council has chosen its preferred tenderer for a Collaborative Partnership to deliver the construction works on the Brisbane Metro.
Brisbane Move, a consortium comprising Acciona Construction Australia and Arup Australia Projects, was selected out of three shortlisted tenderers.
Acciona and Arup will partner with Brisbane City Council to form a Collaborative Partnership to design and deliver the major parts of the project.
Subject to approvals, the contract is expected to be finalised in the coming months.
The work will see traffic removed from Victoria Bridge converting it into a ‘green’ bridge exclusively for buses, pedestrians and cyclists. This will see Victoria Bridge reduced to three lanes for bus and Metro services, providing a bi-directional bikeway and improved pedestrian path widths.
Brisbane Move will work with Brisbane City Council to deliver a shade solution across Victoria Bridge. The consortium is also committed to working with Bicycle User Groups to get the best cycling design outcomes on Melbourne Street.
The Brisbane Metro project is set to support more than 2,600 jobs and assist in Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
A competitive tender process
Brisbane City Council commenced the procurement process for the Collaborative Partnership with a formal Expression of Interest (EOI) period from July to August 2018.
In October 2018, Council announced that shortlisted EOI respondents would progress to the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase.
These respondents were further shortlisted in early December 2018 and moved into the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase in early 2019.
The three respondents (in no particular order) were:
- TransForm BNE consortium, comprising McConnell Dowell Constructors, John Holland and GHD
- Brisbane Move Consortium, comprising Acciona Construction Australia and Arup Australia Projects
- METRO4BNE consortium, comprising CPB Contractors, Seymour Whyte Constructions, Vinci Construction Grands Projets Australia and SMEC Australia
On 21 June 2019, Council received tender submissions from the three shortlisted respondents.
Acciona and Arup both have a significant presence in Queensland and many signature projects including Legacy Way, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and Cross River Rail.
Brisbane Metro: project overview
The Brisbane Metro project is a ‘turn up and go’ rapid transit system consisting of a 21km high frequency electric bus network, which is set to transform public transport across the City.
The Metro will use 60 trackless, bi-articulated electric vehicles, each with a capacity of 150 passengers. There will be two routes, 18 stations, including 11 interchange stations connecting with suburban bus and train services. It is expected to commence operations in 2023.
Brisbane City Council says the project benefits include faster journey times for passengers, comfortable regular services, easy interchange and reduced congestion in the city with a better planned network.
The project, which is co-funded by Brisbane City Council and the Australian Government, also includes delivering on the Adelaide Street Vision, a new tunnel under Adelaide Street that will minimise the impact on businesses, pedestrians, public transport users and trees, a new active transport connection at North Quay and an upgrade of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct.
Construction slated to begin within a year
Brisbane City Council will work with the Brisbane Move consortium in the months after the contract is finalised.
Following this, the Collaborative Partnership will move into the detailed design phase of the project before works commence in approximately 12 months.
Prior to the commencement of main construction works, Council is undertaking a program of early works, including service and utility relocations and intersection upgrades.
Early works have commenced and will be advertised through Council’s Supplier Portal.
Tenderer chosen to supply electric Metro fleet
As part of Brisbane Metro, Council will introduce an initial new fleet, which will share the busway with buses.
Following an extensive tender process, Council has selected world-leading vehicle manufacturer HESS, in partnership with Brisbane-based supplier Volgren, and electric infrastructure experts ABB, to design, build and charge the Brisbane Metro vehicle fleet.
The Australian-first electric Metro vehicles will use an advanced battery fuel source with zero tailpipe emissions and tried and tested flash charging technology.
Initially, HESS and its project partners will design and build one pilot Metro vehicle, which will be extensively performance tested in Brisbane. The Brisbane Metro pilot vehicle is expected to be ready for testing in 2021.
Metro depot contract to be awarded in 2020
The Brisbane Metro depot will be located at School Road, Rochedale, adjacent to the South East busway, providing stabling for the Metro vehicle fleet, as well as maintenance and staff facilities.
A formal Invitation for Expressions of Interest (IEOI) for the design and construction of the Metro depot and maintenance facility was released in March 2019.
In June 2019, Council finalised the shortlist of respondents that will progress to the Request for Tender with a contract expected to be awarded in late 2020, subject to approvals.
Brisbane City Council said the project benefits included faster journey times for passengers, comfortable regular services, easy interchange and reduced congestion in the city with a better planned network.
Talks begin to connect Brisbane Metro to state network
The Queensland Government has welcomed the new development in the project, and has stated it will continue to work with Brisbane City Council on the project’s development.
An independent assessment of the new electric vehicles that will make up Metro’s fleet has also commenced.
TransLink has appointed an independent panel to assess the vehicle.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the State Government was in talks with Council to plan how the Metro will connect with Queensland’s wider public transport network when the first services begin.
“We need to ensure the new Metro vehicles can join the current network without significant interruptions or issues, so that assessment will look at how the vehicle performs and integrates with the wider bus fleet that will continue to use the busways,” Mr Bailey said.
Design work for a new Metro station at Southbank’s Cultural Centre precinct is also continuing.
“Building the Cultural Centre Station is a fantastic opportunity to improve Brisbane’s cultural heart and our public transport network,” Mr Bailey said.
“We’ll continue to work with Brisbane City Council through that process while it gets started on other parts of the Metro project.”
Mr Bailey said Brisbane Metro would join Cross River Rail in supporting a reliable pipeline of jobs and investment for the civil construction sector, aiding Queensland’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tunnelling has started on Queensland’s largest infrastructure project Cross River Rail, which will transform rail travel in south east Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
“Adelaide Street in Brisbane’s CBD will be the next location to enjoy this ‘tunnel vision’ thanks to its Metro initiative.
“Both projects will completely rethink how commuters connect with public transport.”
These two projects alone are expected to support close to 10,000 jobs.
Mr Bailey said the Queensland’s Government’s $50 billion infrastructure program forms a key part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, so construction on the Metro project was a “well-timed addition” for the construction sector.