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CDSE’s involvement on Suburban Roads Upgrade with WeBuild (formerly Salini Impregilo)

Aerial view of houses and streets of a suburb

In March 2019, CDSE was engaged by the D&C Contractor WeBuild (formerly Salini Impregilo) to provide Project Management and Engineering services for the Suburban Roads Upgrade tender. The consortium, lead by Plenary Roads, included Broadspectrum as the O&M Contractor, design houses Mott MacDonald, SMEC, Pitt&Sherry and sub-contractors Winslow, Civilink, Ace, Bayport and Gearon.

The challenges faced on this project were many and came in different shapes and forms. This was caused by the different levels of complexity, requirements, interfaces and constraints found between the 12 roads covered by the project. The large quantity of internal and external stakeholders with different backgrounds, views, experiences and expectations towards the project also added to the complexity of the works developed.

We overcame those hurdles with our great capacity to communicate clearly with different parties, navigating across all levels, and to work efficiently with them towards achieving the project’s final goals. Our previous experiences tendering and delivering similar projects of similar sizes and our deep understanding of the local market, its requirements and expectations, were also key factors to our success on this project.

For some context we had two people, Kumbi and myself, working almost exclusively on SRU for close to the whole length of the Request For Price (RFP) process between March and September 2019 and the subsequent Revise and Confirm (RAC) phase through to Q1 2020. Kumbi, in a Project Manager role, was responsible for supporting the construction teams with his extensive local knowledge, design management and reviews, development  of returnable schedules for final submission and commercial reviews. He also actively supported our clients during the continuous interaction with the State and diverse stakeholders. I was the project’s Utilities Engineer, responsible for providing support to the construction teams and designers on all Utility related issues, liaising with the State and Utility Providers during Tender Workshops, design reviews, clash detection, pricing of works, and document write ups.

The Suburban Roads Upgrade Program was developed by the Victorian Government and the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority to upgrade 12 priority roads across Melbourne’s Northern and South Eastern regions. It was divided between two projects, Northern Roads Upgrade (NRU) and the South Eastern Roads Upgrade (SERU), each comprised of 6 major roads upgrade.

Since finishing our work on this tender, the state government has changed the delivery model for the project from a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to a Program Approach with a panel of contractors.

Nevertheless, we are confident that we have provided great support to our SRU clients, and actively contributed for the development of an outstanding and conforming value for money offer. Our leadership, integrity and commitment to deliver quality in all we do were fully recognised by our clients. This recognition led to the engagement of a larger team of 8 consultants by WeBuild to participate on the North East Link tender, participating in four different disciplines on the project, strengthening our brand and leaving our mark of leadership and quality on the market, and on flagship projects in Victoria.