Australia’s best civil and commercial construction projects for the past year have been unveiled.

During a major industry event which was held in Sydney earlier this month, Engineers Australia and the Australian Constructors Association have announced that the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Tunnel and Station Excavation (TSE) (pictured above) Works by John Holland, CPB Contractors and the Ghella Joint Venture has taken out the 2022 Australian Construction Achievement Award.

Part of the Sydney Metro project, the project has connected Chatswood in Sydney’s inner-north and Sydenham in the city’s inner south-west via a 15.5-kilometre twin rail tunnel which runs underneath Sydney Harbor and via the CBD.

The project also includes six new underground stations.

It is the first time that rail tunnels have been built under Sydney Harbour.

The team of 11,000 needed to deal with challenging geotechnical conditions and live transport infrastructure.

The works were further complicated by the numerous existing infrastructure assets under the Harbour, mining under heritage buildings and the design and construction of massive bespoke formwork for an underground station that won International Awards.

All up, the team delivered 20 separable portions across seventeen work sites either on or before due dates without any unresolved issues.

As many as five tunnel boring machines were used at the same time – a first for Australia.

The project was also a boon for skills development, with more than 1,000 previously unemployed young people being employed on the job.

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the industry continues to excel despite many challenges.

“This year’s winner delivered several Australian firsts that would not have been possible without the one team culture established from the outset,” Davies said.

“All finalists have demonstrated that our industry is at its best when it works together.”

Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans AM congratulated the winning team for delivering a masterpiece of engineering innovation.

“John Holland, CPB Contractors and Ghella Joint Venture have given a masterclass in using innovative engineering solutions and teamwork to overcome the most complex environmental and logistical challenges imaginable. In doing so, they have delivered an iconic addition to Sydney’s DNA that will provide enormous benefit to everyone in the community.”

The ACAA now in its 25th year, is hosted by the Australian Constructors Association and Engineers Australia and is the peak annual award for the major players in civil and commercial construction.

Sponsors include Adbri, Caterpillar, Cbus, InEight and InfraBuild.


Other Finalist Projects


Additional Works Package 1 – Cheltenham and Mentone Level Crossing Removal Project, Melbourne

Delivered by Southern Program Alliance — Accociona, Coleman Rail, WSP Metro Trains Melbourne and the Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP)

This project saw the removal of three dangerous and congested level crossings on the Frankston Line in Melbourne’s south-east for the state government’s Level Crossing Removal Project. Also included were two new stations in Cheltenham and Mentone, preserved heritage buildings and trees, and created public spaces to revitalise nearby communities.

The project has delivered higher levels of safety, lower emissions, lower commute times and the creation of new public spaces for the community.

Mentone station

Mordialloc Freeway Project, Melbourne

By McConnell Dowell, Decmil Group and Major Road Projects Victoria.

The Mordialloc Freeway Project included the construction of nine kilometres of road, eight kilometres of shared walking and cycling paths and six new bridges, including four with new freeway entry and exit ramps.

Delivered four weeks ahead of schedule, this was an alliance of choice rather than by contract which demonstrated that innovation and collaboration can occur through a design and construct method of delivery.

A key feature of this project was its environmental stewardship.

This included:

  • Use of 97 percent of construction waste diverted from landfill along with 321 tonnes of recycled road base and asphalt. Use of recycled plastic noise walls, for instance, diverted 570 tonnes of plastic from landfill.
  • Sourcing of 44 percent of energy used from green energy providers.

The project also had a positive social impact. More than 80,000 work hours were performed by apprentices, trainees and cadets whilst women made up 50 percent of the project leadership team.

Finally, an industry-first workforce wellbeing program delivered improvements of 43 percent in work/life balance, 41 percent in burnout, 34 percent in depression and 26 percent in stress.

Quay Quarter Tower (QQT), Circular Quay, New South Wales

By Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd

In delivering QQT, Multiplex managed major redevelopment works including partial demolition and reuse of the existing 50 Bridge Street building.

The final design retained 68 percent of the original tower structure. This provided a net gain in floor space, substantial cost savings, significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the building and tangible safety in design outcomes.

This was a complex build involving the part demolition of the existing 70-year-old structure where almost 70 percent of the structure was retained before a new steel structure was grafted onto the building’s northern face. This doubled the footprint of the structure.

To achieve the program, the team needed to concurrently construct the new steel structure and the new building at the same time as demolishing the existing tower.

The Regency Road to Pym Street Project

 By R2P Alliance — Department For Infrastructure and Transport, McConnell Dowell, Arup And Mott Macdonald

The R2P Project involved the construction of a 1.8km motorway section on one of South Australia’s most important transport corridors.

The is the penultimate section of the North-South corridor. It joins the Northern Connector, Northern Expressway, South Road Superway and the Torrens to Torrens project and completes the 78 kilometre North-South road corridor which runs from Gawler in the far-north to Old Noarlunga in the far-south.

Construction included a six-lane overpass, two arterial surface roads, grade separated pedestrian and cyclist overpass, heavy vehicle bypass road, landscaping and complex traffic management.

Delivered to the highest quality, $28 illion under budget and four months ahead of schedule, the result is an integrated engineered solution that stitches the North-South Corridor into the adjacent communities within which it sits.

A key challenge was managing live traffic around one of South Australia’s busiest roads.

The Alliance designed a program which ensured that travel time throughout the project would be no worse compared with prior to the project commencing.


Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway Upgrade

By Pacific Complete — Laing O’Rourke & WSP

Pacific Complete, a Joint Venture between Laing O’Rourke & WSP was appointed as Delivery Partner to TfNSW to manage the 129-kilometre section of the Pacific Highway upgrade between Glenugie and Ballina.

The upgrade to four lanes of divided carriageway included earthworks, piling, bridge and structures, pavements, material supply and finishing works. The program’s construction, design and programme management specialists focussed on community and construction, procuring and managing over 170 contract packages.

More than fifteen tiered construction companies and 1,000 subcontractors were engaged on the project.

All up, the project is expected to shave 29 minutes off Brisbane to Sydney travel times, improves freight reliability and is expected to deliver a 27 percent reduction in crash rates.

The project was delivered despite severe disruption from bushfires, floods and COVID capacity restrictions.