A COMPANY involved in removing level crossings in Melbourne has secured a $16.4 million contract for design work at North East sites for the Inland Rail project.
McConnell Dowell has been hired by the Australian Rail Track Corporation to produce detailed blueprints for four locations on the line from Melbourne to Wodonga that need to be altered to cater to double-stacked trains.
The work of McConnell Dowell will build on previous reference designs and is seen as a final step before construction begins mid next year.
"McConnell Dowell and their main design subcontractor Aurecon will now oversee the detailed design of new bridges, train station modifications and track lowering at these initial sites in Victoria, while we await planning, heritage and environmental approvals," ARTC Inland Rail interim chief executive Rebecca Pickering said.
"They will also be undertaking early delivery activities to get ready for construction, which includes minor civil works, overhead wiring and signal gantry installation for the sites.
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"ARTC remains committed to meaningful and respectful consultation with the communities in North East Victoria as we continue through this phase of early delivery activities.
"McConnell Dowell will now begin progressing detailed design for these sites in early 2022, which will include further consultation by ARTC with the community and stakeholders.
"ARTC will also continue to work through the heritage permit approval process for Glenrowan, before the community has the opportunity to make a submission through a consultation process conducted by Heritage Victoria."
The deal with McConnell Dowell means one of the four locations will be the first to be transformed for the project in Victoria and planning will continue on proposed changes at Benalla and Euroa.
The New Zealand founded company has been involved in rail projects across its homeland, Australia and Singapore in addition to the level crossing removal works in Melbourne and building a new North Melbourne station.
"This means most of our planning has been finalised, and we can begin preparation for construction, which will begin in 2023," Inland Rail southern NSW stakeholder engagement manager Heath Martin said.
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