Leading contractor Gammon Construction has bagged one of the two contracts on the big budget Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link project that will provide access from the western New Territories to the airport.
Highways Department yesterday quietly updated its website to show that Gammon is the main contractor for the Southern Connection of the project which will also provide a second access route to Hong Kong International Airport.
The contract sum is HK$8.66 billion and work will start this month for completion by the end of 2016.
Construction Post started hearing rumours of the award on Wednesday and immediately sought confirmation from industry sources, Gammon and Highways Department.
One market source, an industry consultant, said Highways Department sent a fax copy of the letter of award to Gammon last Friday.
Another source at a listed contractor said: “Yes, Gammon got the southern part. [It is] already awarded.”
While Gammon may be popping the champagne corks at its latest success, it’s a different story for the Northern Connection as contractors gnaw their fingers while they wait to see who gets the job.
The consultant source said three contractors were in the running for the Northern Connection which features a road tunnel.
They are Dragages-Bouygues joint venture, a joint venture led by French contractor Vinci Construction Grands Projets and a Chinese grouping.
About two weeks ago, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved funds totalling HK$44.8 billion at money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link.
According to an earlier paper submitted by the Transport and Housing Bureau, the link was required to improve transport links between Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Macau and Shenzhen.
The project will consist of two main sections, the Northern Connection at 5.5 kilometres length and the Southern Connection at 3.5 kilometres length.
The Northern Connection consists of a dual 2-lane sub-sea tunnel from Tuen Mun Area 40 to the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge while the Southern Connection consists of a dual 2-lane sea viaduct linking the HKBCF and North Lantau.
The costs of the tunnel and sea viaduct were estimated at HK$16.2 billion and HK$3.7 billion respectively at September 2012 prices before addition of the inflation (MOD) factor.
The Northern and Southern Connections are planned to be carried out under design-and-build contract on a lump sum basis “because the works under these contracts are extremely complicated and highly specialized” the bureau said.
According to the government gazette, Highways Department invited applications for prequalification registration for the Northern Connection in May last year for tendering later in September.
However for the Southern Connection, the department conducted an open tender exercise in October last year with tenders to be submitted by February this year.