The contract for surveying work marks the start of preparatory works for the US$70 million project. OnePlan Land Development Groupwill is carrying out cadastral surveying at the site over the next two weeks.

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) has shortlisted three contractors, which will be invited to provide detailed proposals. The three are: Downer EDI Works, CPB Contractors and a joint venture between Coleman Rail and Decmil Southern. Their proposals are due early next year and, following an evaluation period, RPV will award the design and construct contract in the middle of the year.

Construction of the bridge is targeted to begin in late 2019, with a completion date of early 2021, subject to planning and environmental approvals.

The bridge is part of the US$385 million Gippsland Line Upgrade, which in turn is part of a US$1.27 billion regional rail revival programme. Minister for public transport Jacinta Allan said: “We want to see this bridge for locals be built by locals." The Gippsland Line Upgrade is a participant in an initiative to maximise local and social employment and procurement opportunities.