More works are now underway on the 1,700-kilometre Inland Rail project that will serve as a link between Melbourne and Brisbane, with geotechnical works commencing on the Queensland - Gowrie to Kagaru sections.
The 130-kilometre Gowrie to Kagaru section of the Inland Rail will include tunnels with an approximate length of 8.5 kilometres and it will run through Toowoomba, Teviot and Liverpool ranges.
The geotechnical investigations done on the project will help developers have a deeper understanding of the geotechnical conditions along the route, and it will also serve as a guide for strategic planning, assessments as well as engineering solutions.
The developer of Inland Rail - Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) - has awarded Golder Associates Pty Ltd with a $23 million contract to undertake the comprehensive geotechnical studies that will help in optimising the tunnel design for the Gowrie to Kagaru section of Inland Rail.
Scope of works under this contract will also include drilling a borehole that is approximately 280-metres deep to gather rock and earth samples needed for the investigation.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, the geotechnical works will provide information to help companies prepare bids to win the Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract. The Minister added that the geotechnical works will also serve as a guide to the project’s overall construction.
“Awarding this $23 million contract will help to generate the best possible design solution for this critically important but ground-breaking segment of the Inland Rail.
“The Inland Rail is a nation-building project which will still be operating and delivering economic and community benefits a century from now, which is why we are working purposefully to ensure we optimise the design and construction,” Mr McCormack said.
Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said that the geotechnical works will be important to ensuring the outcomes of the Inland Rail, such as if double-stacked trains will be able to operate on the rail.
“This geotechnical work will provide the vitally important technical information needed to build the 6.4km tunnel under the Great Dividing Range which will be an engineering feat driven by government and industry collaboration,” Senator Cormann said.
Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh has welcomed the commencement of geotechnical works on the Gowrie to Kagaru section of the Inland Rail.
Mr McVeigh said: “I’m looking forward to the Queensland Government finalising the bilateral agreement so we can get on with the job of building this vital infrastructure and Queenslanders can experience the Inland Rail benefits.”
The Inland Rail project is expected to create approximately 7,000 direct and indirect jobs for Queensland.
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