Brownlee shortlists consortia for Transmission Gully

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has short-listed two groups to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington in a public-private partnership, with a goal to open the alternative route out of the capital city in 2020.

The government will choose from a consortium led by ASX-listed Leighton Contractors, called the Wellington Gateway Partnership, and the Positive Connection, led by UK-based public sector infrastructure investor John Laing to build the 27km highway, Mr Brownlee says in a statement. New Zealand Transport Agency expects to announce the winner early next year.

The Wellington Gateway group includes HEB Construction, InfraRed Infrastructure General Partner, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFH and the Accident Compensation Corp, while Positive Connection's members are Fulton Hogan, Fletcher Building, Macquarie Group and the Morrison & Co-managed PIP Fund.

The price tag for the road was initially put at $1 billion, though opposition MPs claim it may climb as high as $3.4 billion.

"Transmission Gully will provide a safer, more secure strategic route in and out of Wellington that will cater for the increased traffic and freight demands that come with a growth city," Mr Brownlee says.

"Today's announcement of a shortlist is another important step towards beginning construction of the Transmission Gully project in 2014 and opening the road by 2020."


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Another 9 months to pick a winner from a shortest of two??

And then 6 years to build 27 kilometers of highway??

Wow. No wonder NZ economy is in the slow lane.

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Very valid point. The ridiculously high cost of intrastructure in NZ is being driven much higher than in need be by the very long lead times.
We have talked about the Transmission Gully route out of Wellington since the 1940s. Now that it is close to happening it will take another seven years to build at the rate of only 4km per year? $40 million a kilometre! Has Treasury worked out the extra cost of capital for tolerating such long lead times?
Also, no mention of infrastructure companies from the world's largest builder of infrastructure, the Chinese, being on the short list. This project could be built for half the cost in half the time if we really wanted to get things moving in the country.
The infra projects needing doing should be bundled together as a package rather than each treated an an ad hoc basis.

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Instead of spending almost a billion dollars so the good folk of the Kapiti Coast can get to work and back quicker and fume belching trucks can grind their way up in first gear polluting the atmosphere when the loads should be on the rail anyway, the money for this would be better spent double decking Centennial highway (San Francisco style) and on extending the Welly runway to take international B777, B787 and A350 flights, at least that could bring some more money and business into the area... typical small thinking strikes again.

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What rubbish Paul N.
The topography of the Wellington area, and the wind shear through the straits, doesn't allow for an economically viable extension of the Wellington runway.

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