Property and infrastructure group Lend Lease and its partner, French construction firm Bouygues Construction, have been appointed the preferred tenderer to build the $3 billion NorthConnex Motorway in Sydney.
The project, formerly known as the F3-M2 link, will be overseen by toll road operator Transurban and its partners in the Westlink M7 toll road.
The NorthConnex Motorway is a nine-kilometre twin tunnel that will link the southern end of the M1 Pacific Motorway – formerly the F3 Freeway – at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at the Pennant Hills Road interchange.
It will cost $2.65 billion to build the link, plus land acquisition and project delivery costs.
“The selection of Lend Lease endorses our position as a leading engineering business in Australia with significant capability to deliver large infrastructure projects,” Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann said in a statement on Monday.
The project requires final planning approval from the NSW government, and contract terms also require finalisation.
If approved by the NSW government, financial close on the project is expected in late calendar 2014.
Construction is expected to start in 2015.
Transurban and the other Westlink M7 shareholders approached the NSW government in 2012 with an unsolicited proposal to link the F3 with the M2.
The NSW government endorsed the project in May 2013.
The link will be jointly-funded by Transurban and the Westlink M7 shareholders, the NSW government and the federal government.
The NSW government has said the NorthConnex Motorway is an important missing link in Sydney’s road network, with the potential to cut 15 minutes in travel time in each direction and remove thousands of trucks from Pennant Hills Road.
Shares in Lend Lease were 16 cents higher at $11.48 at 1112 AEDT.
Transurban securities were two cents lower at $7.20.