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Surging construction costs on major Victorian transport projects have blown a $770 million hole in state and federal finances over the last year.
A massive pipeline of projects across Australia’s east coast is fuelling skyrocketing expenses by creating labour and material shortages.
Experts say the problem will only get worse, with years of major works to come on the nation’s building boom, sparking fears about the impact on the state’s Budget.
Costs on projects such as the Metro Tunnel and the West Gate Tunnel have blown out, due to the rising costs of materials and labour.Last month, the state and federal governments signed a $518 million contract to upgrade a 4km section of the M80 Ring Road that was costed at $233.7 million in 2016.
It came after the bill for the Monash Freeway upgrade hit $1.1 billion, a $365 million increase.
The Herald Sun can also reveal:
• Costs on Victorian infrastructure projects are expected to soar by 7 per cent next year — more than any other state — according to leading cost management consultancy WT.
• Prices for some types of concrete have surged by 50 per cent in the last two years.
• Victorian soil conditions make tunnelling more expensive here than any other state.
• Major construction firms fear price hikes will make it too difficult to deliver future projects.
A Herald Sun analysis has found the M80 and Monash upgrades were among five transport projects which blew out by $770.2 million in the last year.
Early works on the Metro Tunnel also blew out by $95 million but this was covered by contingency funding.
The price of concrete has surged ore than 50 per cent in the past two years, while the state’s soil conditions is making tunnelling more expensive.Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said all eastern states were facing similar challenges.
“The cost of not building is far too great — and we make no apologies for delivering the road and rail projects that will keep our city and state moving,” she said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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