Western Sydney Airport says major earthworks that involves shifting about 25 million cubic metres earth are set to begin in early 2020.
The airport has awarded its major earthworks contract to a Lend Lease and CBP Contractors joint-venture to carry out the work.
Initial estimates had the work estimated at 22 million cubic metres of earth. However, the airport said on Sunday this had been revised up to 25 million cubic metres due to improvements to the terminal’s layout.
While Western Sydney Airport had intended to split the work up into two contacts, the feedback from industry from the tender process led to the decision to award a single contract for the major earthworks project.
“After considering pressure on construction market resources and personnel, we had originally intended to split major earthworks into two contracts,” chief executive Graham Millett said in a statement.
“It was encouraging to see the appeal that working on the airport carries across the construction industry, with the market participants putting their hand up to take on the entire major earthworks project under one contract.”
CPB Contractors managing director Juan Santamaria said Western Sydney Airport represented the latest major infrastructure project contract win for the company.
“This builds on CPB Contractors’ growing list of airport infrastructure projects including the taxiway upgrade at Auckland Airport and the airfield works for the new runway at Brisbane Airport,” Santamaria said in a statement on Monday.
“CPB Contractors has a strong portfolio of major transport projects, including Sydney Metro and WestConnex in NSW, West Gate Tunnel and Melbourne Metro in Victoria and Cross River Rail in Queensland.”
Construction of the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek began in September 2018, when bulldozers arrived to move about 1.8 million cubic metres of earth to prepare the ground for the eventual runway and terminal construction.
The beginning of Western Sydney airport starts today! This is an historic project that is the catalyst for transforming Western Sydney. Great to be here with the PM @ScottMorrisonMP and @stuartayresmp pic.twitter.com/8kaEf3Ojos
— Alan Tudge (@AlanTudgeMP) September 24, 2018
This work, covering about six per cent of the 1780-hectare site, has already moved 1.5 million cubic metres of earth was expected to be completed by the end of calendar 2019, the airport said.
“Visitors to the site often comment about the immense scale of work underway, but I tell them this is nothing compared to the major earthworks phase,” Millett said.
The airport has also recently opened applications from construction companies to build the passenger terminal.
“The contract includes construction of the first stage of Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport’s integrated international and domestic passenger terminal precinct, including the baggage handling system, security systems, IT network and aerobridges,” Western Sydney Airport said on August 30.
In June 2019, Western Sydney Airport said it had shortlisted five architectural teams to design the terminal, with the winner expected to be named by the end of 2019.
Visitor centre opens
On Monday, the airport officially opened its visitors centre, giving the community an opportunity to learn more about the project as it is being built.
The facility included an augmented reality preview of the airport, interactive digital exhibits and information about the development of the site presented on floor-to-ceiling glass panels.
“The experience centre will give the chance to be a part of the Airport’s journey to community groups, school excursions and anyone who wants to learn more,” Millett said.
In March, the Australian government said the airport would be named Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport in honour of one of the country’s greatest aviators.
We can't wait to welcome you to the Western Sydney International Experience Centre. Drop in and enjoy a digital exhibition where you'll learn more about the region and its people, why we're building the Airport and the jobs and opportunities it will create. pic.twitter.com/i5x31T5xi3
— Western Sydney International Airport (@flyWSA) September 2, 2019
PODCAST: Chief executive Graham Millett spoke with the Australian Aviation podcast in November 2018. To listen to the episode, click here.