Major procurement milestone for North-South Corridor

The River Torrens to Darlington Project today reaches a significant milestone, with the start of the Registration of Interest process for a head contractor to deliver the biggest infrastructure project in South Australian history.

The South Australian Government will today issue the ROI for major construction works to prequalified companies on the State Government’s Tenders SA website.

Through the ROI, the SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport provides more details about the scope and technical requirements of the project to parties that would lead a consortium to ultimately bid to design, build and operate the 10.5-kilometre motorway, which is jointly funded with the Australian Government.

Companies must demonstrate they have the capacity to take part in the project before they gain access to the ROI.

The procurement process will be progressed with an Expression of Interest scheduled to be issued by the Department by April 2023, followed by a Request for Proposal in around September 2023, and the Contract Award in mid-2024.

Following the release of major design and other changes by the State Government in December 2022, the timeline and approach to both project construction and procurement was revised.

Main building works are proposed to start in 2025, with tunnel-boring machine (TBM) works for the Southern Tunnels planned to begin in 2026 and project completion expected in 2031.

About 500 jobs have been supported so far during preparatory works – such as design, ground investigations and the relocation of utilities – and the project is expected to support about 5,500 full-time equivalent positions a year during construction.

The successful proponent will need to demonstrate how they will deliver the State Government’s commitment to maximising local companies’ participation in the project, as sub-contractors and through the supply chain, as well as South Australian workers.

South Australian companies can register their interest in being involved in the River Torrens to Darlington Project through the project page on the Industry Capability Network (ICN) Gateway website portal.

Once finished, the project will allow motorists to avoid 21 existing sets of traffic lights between the River Torrens and Darlington, and it will complete the 78-kilometre North-South Corridor between Gawler and Old Noarlunga.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King:

“This is an important project for South Australia and will make a real difference to people, getting them home quicker and safer.

“The River Torrens to Darlington Project takes another big step forward today with the effective start of a worldwide search for contractors to design, build and operate this transformative motorway.

“Today’s issuing of the Registration of Interest is further evidence that we’re getting on with the job of building the biggest and most ambitious infrastructure project in South Australian history.”

Quotes attributable to SA Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Tom Koutsantonis:

“Late last year, after a comprehensive design overhaul, the State Government put this project back on track by announcing improvements to the safety and connectivity of the motorway that ensure it is delivered right the first time and for the long term.

“The Registration of Interest allows the Department for Infrastructure and Transport to provide more information about the project to potential bidders, and for those entities to demonstrate their level of interest and technical capability.

“It’s the first part of a four-phase procurement process that is scheduled to culminate in mid-2024 with the awarding of the main construction contract.

“We are confident there will be widespread interest in this procurement process and the chance to lead the delivery of this state-building project.

“Importantly, the State Government is committed to ensuring this project delivers maximum benefits to South Australian workers and companies and the successful consortium will be tasked with making that happen.

“We’re determined that at least 90 per cent of the project labour will be provided by South Australian workers, with a focus on providing key roles for Aboriginal workers, apprentices, trainees and jobseekers who are long-term unemployed.”