Sydney has begun its search for the consortium that will design and build a new 12-kilometre light rail network for the city.
The New South Wales (NSW) Government has announced that the procurement process for two major contracts, covering the construction of the $1.6 billion system, is now underway.
Companies are being invited to submit expressions of interest for the South East Light Rail line design, construction, operation and maintenance contract and the operation and maintenance of the Inner West Light Rail network.
A second contract then covers the preliminary works for the planned route.
Once each submission has been analysed, a shortlist of interested parties will be asked to put together detailed bids for each contract.
Sydney’s new tram line will travel south from Circular Quay in the north to Moore Park before splitting into two separate spur lines to Kingsford and Randwick.
Although planning is still in its early stages, the City of Sydney has suggested a catenary-free system along sections of the route, using batteries to power trams in the pedestrianised zone through Liverpool Street and Bridge Street.
Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said: “In less than a year since we announced the CBD and South East Light Rail project, we’ve appointed a world-class project director, conducted extensive community consultation, and signed Memoranda of Understanding with key partners including the City of Sydney, Randwick City Council, Centennial Parklands and the University of NSW.
“I am pleased to announce that we have now also bedded down the project’s delivery strategy and will be asking the private sector to join us in delivering this significant project for Sydney.”
NSW said it is aiming to award the contracts in mid to late 2014.