The ACT Government has wasted no time since the election moving to find a contractor to design and construct the new Woden Transport Interchange as part of the overall Woden CIT development.
Major Projects Canberra is seeking expressions of interest for the interchange project which needs to be built before the current interchange can be demolished to make way for the CIT development.
The new Woden bus interchange and light rail terminus on Callam Street, between Bradley and Matilda Streets, will comprise 18 bus stops and a light rail terminus with two platforms, adjacent to the new CIT campus.
The tender documents say the light rail terminus will future-proof the interchange and eventually connect with light rail stage 2B, which will cross Lake Burley Griffin and proceed around Parliament House and along Adelaide Avenue to Woden.
They say the full extent of works associated with the light rail terminus construction is being finalised but will include platforms and canopies, with specialist light rail installations such as high voltage electrical, control systems and rail to be installed by the light rail operator at a later date.
In the interim, the light rail stops will double as bus stops.
The project will be supported by new bus layovers to be constructed off Launceston Street and in Easty Street, along with ancillary roadworks at existing intersections that will assist traffic flow in the Woden area.
The government expects sustainable design principles and Smart Precinct initiatives using digital technologies to be employed in the project.
Part of the government’s $14 billion infrastructure plan, the new interchange is expected to help drive the renewal of the Woden Town Centre by creating an updated urban realm, providing improved safety and a more comfortable experience for passengers.
The tender documents say it will also form part of a Smart Precinct with digital connectivity and information available for passengers and the general public.
Construction will be staged so there is minimal interruption to existing bus services and reduce any inconvenience for passengers.
The government hopes to shortlist tenderers in the first quarter of next year, award the contract by the end of the second quarter, commence construction in the third quarter with the new interchange operating in the first quarter of 2022.
In the meantime, construction of the new bus layovers will commence in the second quarter of 2021 and be ready for operations in the following quarter.
The demolition of the current interchange is due to take place in the first half of 2022, so work on the CIT campus can begin in the second half of that year.
The government envisages the new campus opening in 2025.
The entire CIT Campus and interchange project will have a price tag of $250 to 300 million and be delivered in three stages, to be separately procured.
Each one will need to be completed before the next one can commence. They are:
- Construction of 24 new bus layover spaces, with meal and toilet amenities, adjacent to Launceston Street and 11 bus layover spaces along Easty Street, as well as roadworks to re-route through traffic along Wilbow and Easty Streets and relocation of utilities and inground services.
- A new Transport Interchange at Woden.
- Design and construction of a new CIT Campus, comprising 22,500 square metre gross floor area (GFA), end of trip facilities, landscaping and Smart Precinct innovations. It will also include development of a Youth Foyer, a combined accommodation and training unit for young people at risk of homelessness, of about 1,525 square metres GFA, and urban design works to connect the Woden Town Centre with the campus and new interchange.
The CIT project will be up to 12 storeys and feature activated common areas and green spaces, after original proposals for a taller 16-storey development fell foul of community feedback.