AUSTRALIA: Queensland Premier Anna Bligh turned the first sod on the A$949m Gold Coast Rapid Transit project at the site of the new Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport on August 1.

The event marked the start of work by Leighton Contractors on the shell of the terminus station at Griffith University. Construction of the station floor, walls and roof will involve the removal of 18000 tonnes of soil and installation of more than 550 bored piles.

Three consortia have been shortlisted for the PPP contract to design, build, operate and maintain the 13 km light rail corridor from Griffith University to Broadbeach, which is due to open in 2014. They are:

  • GC Connect: MTR Corp, John Holland, Itochu Corp and Royal Bank of Scotland Group;
  • Move GC: Veolia Transport, Alstom, Leighton Contractors and Macquarie Capital Group;
  • GoldlinQ: Keolis, Downer EDI, Bombardier Transportation, McConnell Dowell Constructors and Plenary Group.

Selection of a preferred bidder is expected in March 2011.