The Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman, has announced the RiverCity Motorway Consortium (RCM) as Preferred Proponent to deliver the North-South Bypass Tunnel (NSBT).

RCM is a partnership between Baulderstone Hornibrook Pty Ltd , Bilfinger Berger BOT, Leighton Contractors and ABN AMRO. The team will combine their strengths and experience to deliver the first privately funded toll road to the people of Brisbane.

This landmark project, underneath the city of Brisbane, also unites Baulderstone Hornibrook in a joint venture with Bilfinger Berger Civil and Leighton Contractors to design and construct the NSBT.

Baulderstone Hornibrook has a proven track record in constructing technically complex infrastructure projects in Australia including the M5 East, Anzac Bridge, Melbourne Citylink and most recently the Cross City Tunnel in Sydney.

Rick Turchini, Managing Director of Baulderstone Hornibrook says that the NSBT will build on this experience. “This challenging project will utilise Baulderstone Hornibrook’s, and parent company Bilfinger Berger’s, extensive national and international tunnelling expertise to ensure delivery of a world class piece of infrastructure”, he says.

“In addition, this project adds to Baulderstone Hornibrook’s portfolio of long term partnerships with local communities and authorities”.

The project comprises two 4.7km twin-lane tunnels and connecting ramps to join the South East Freeway and Ipswich Road in Woolloongabba with the Inner City Bypass and Lutwyche Road in Bowen Hills. More than 1,200 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project. Many more indirect jobs will be created within the Brisbane marketplace.

It is expected that financial close will occur in late August with early works commencing as soon as September 2006. Completion is expected in 2010.

RCM will provide Australians and in particular residents of Queensland the opportunity to own a stake in this landmark infrastructure project through an intended initial public offering (IPO). The IPO, which is underwritten by ABN AMRO Rothschild, is expected to include a special incentive program for Queensland residents. A product disclosure statement and further details of the IPO will be made available shortly after contractual close.