Two packages covering a total of 11 sites are being tendered as part of a larger project involving the removal of 50 level crossings through solutions including the construction of new bridges.

Two joint ventures - John Holland with KBR and CPB Contractors with Aurecon - have been shortlisted by Level Crossing Removal Authority (LCRA) for the North West Program Alliance.

The shortlisted teams for the Western Program Alliance are a joint venture of McConnell Dowell, Arup and Mott McDonald, and a joint venture of Coleman Rail, Seymour Whyte and Arcadis Australia.

Both projects are being carried out under the ‘program alliance’ model – where successful bidders must meet strict performance measures when removing the initial two or three crossings before being appointed for the remainder. The approach is seen by the LCRA as reducing procurement time, enabling the crossings to be removed sooner than under other approaches. LCRA said that it also provides a pipeline of work, which enables constructors to build and maintain skilled workforces, better supporting local jobs and opportunities for apprentices and trainees.

“These crossings clog streets, risk lives and hold our train system back – we’re getting rid of them and some of the biggest construction firms in the country are bidding for the work,” said minister for public transport Jacinta Allan. “Construction on six of these level crossing removals will begin next year and by late 2018, the removal of 37 of Victoria’s most dangerous and congested crossings will be finished or under way.”