Councillors agreed to support the recommendation of Council officers to award the contract to a complying tender bid from Hazell Bros (Qld) Pty Ltd following a rigorous tendering process.
The decision was made in a confidential hearing following legal advice that was sought after a threat of legal action by a third party group. Opponents had called for the rail trail to be built off-formation – or alongside the existing track infrastructure.
At its meeting on 7 March 2019, Council approved 4 companies to bid for the design and construction of the Tweed Valley Rail Trail through an early tenderer involvement process.
Council worked with all shortlisted tenderers to evaluate each detailed design against the project design criteria, budget and value for money. The tender period closed on 12 May 2021, with offers received from Abergeldie Constructions, BMD Urban Gold Coast, Hazell Bros Group and SEE Civil.
Following extensive consideration, Council officers nominated Hazell Bros Qld as the preferred tenderer. The design will now be refined if needed and finalised, after which the community will be able to view the final rail trail design.
The Northern Rivers Rail Trail is a proposed 132 km bike and walking pathway which is envisioned will eventually stretch from Murwillumbah to Casino, within the rail corridor of the former North Coast Rail Line.
First opened in 1894 and characterised by its magnificent scenery, difficult terrain and tight curves, the railway connected 24 stations along its length before it was closed by the NSW Government in 2004.
The trail will be constructed in 4 stages, each delivered separately by the 4 local Councils, as funding allows.
The Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is the first stage to go ahead. It will include 24 km of shared-user path from the former Murwillumbah Railway Station to Crabbes Creek, terminating south of Wooyung Road.
This stage incorporates 2 tunnels (one being 517m long), 26 bridges and provides multiple vistas of the Tweed Caldera landscape.
Funding for the Tweed section of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail has been provided by the Australian Government, under its Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Package Fund, and the NSW Government under its Restart NSW program.
More details on the project are published at www.yoursaytweed.com.au/railtrail.