A new Request for Proposal (RFP) has been released to market for the $576 million Tasmanian Bridgewater Bridge project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said building the new Bridgewater Bridge would improve safety and reduce congestion for the 22,000 vehicles that cross the bridge each day.

“The new bridge will deliver a more reliable journey for drivers, freight operators and the local community,” Mr McCormack said.

“The release of the RFP to market is a major step forward in this once-in-a-generation infrastructure project. Suitably qualified contractors will be able to submit proposals detailing their qualifications, capability and capacity to undertake the project.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, said the plan was for two tenderers to be selected to compete in a competitive Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process starting late this year.

“During that phase, tenderers will work collaboratively with the Tasmanian Department of State Growth in refining and developing their individual tenders for the design and construction of the project,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The intention is to award a design and construct contract by the end of next year, as we continue to deliver this important and complex piece of infrastructure that will benefit all Tasmanians.”

Senator for Tasmania, Eric Abetz, said involving two contractors in the project design’s early stages allowed for closer involvement in developing detailed designs and provided opportunity for industry innovation and construction efficiencies.

“The new bridge will include two lanes in each direction, a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians, a minimum speed limit of 80 km/h and will have a navigation height consistent with the Bowen Bridge,” Mr Abetz said.

“While qualified tenderers will be eligible to ensure a competitive environment that drives value for money outcomes, there will also be a number of opportunities for local industry to get involved in the project, bringing local knowledge and expertise.”

Final selected contractors will be encouraged to use local content where possible and will be required to prepare a Tasmanian Industry Participation Plan as part of the Tasmanian Government’s Buy Local policy, which requires contractors to make commitments to fulfil economic and social benefits to Tasmanian industry, businesses and jobs.

Construction is due to start in 2022 and people are expected to drive on the new bridge by the end of 2024.

Proposals must be submitted by no later than 2pm on Wednesday 7 October 2020.

To access tender documentation, visit www.tenders.tas.gov.au. To view a list of prequalified contractors, visit: www.transport.tas.gov.au/roads_and_traffic_management/contractor_and_industry_information/National_Prequalification_System 

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