Council awards $140 million contract, the largest in history
THE LARGEST contract in Ipswich City Council history will be awarded as a part of the redevelopment of the CBD.
Hutchinson Builders have been announced as the preferred tenderer to construct a new council building, library building and civic plaza at the end of Nicholas Street.
The $140 million contract, when formally awarded, would be the biggest in council's history.
Hutchinson will also upgrade the existing car park, finalise works on Nicholas Street and Union Place, and ensure Bremer Street traffic ramps are ready to go.
Advanced drawings of the future development have been released by project engineers, offering a clearer look at the council building, library and civic plaza.
Council administrator Greg Chemello said work on Nicholas Street had already started but the contract concerned the biggest component of the project.
"Council officers will spend the next six to eight weeks finalising design with Hutchinson, and going through every aspect of the project to ensure ratepayers get best value possible," he said.
"I acknowledge that this has been a long time coming, but it was important to ensure that all issues were addressed so that the Ipswich Central redevelopment can finally become a reality."
Mr Chemello said he was pleased with how things are progressing and he was confident the project would be on schedule with the latest timeline.
"The leasing team tells me that negotiations are progressing well with a number of retailers interested in moving in, restoration work of Murphy's Pub is continuing, and Nicholas Street is looking better by the day," he said.
"In the background, there's plenty of work being done on design detail, including a program of public art."
Hutchinson construction team leader John Berlese said it was great news for the company.
"We see this as an extension of the site works we did three or four years ago, to clear away the old Woollies building and to ensure the car park is safe and secure," Mr Berlese said.
"It's wonderful that the city of Ipswich has confidence in us to complete a job which is so important to the future of the region.
"It sure is a big job, but we can't wait to get moving on it."
Nicholas Street roadworks are set for completion by Easter next year, the new library should open by mid-2020 and the council administration centre by mid-2021.