Swiss construction company Implenia, along with consortium members Hochtief and Thyssen Schachtbau, has been awarded the €457 million contract for the Semmering Base Tunnel (SBT) section SBT1.1 in Austria.

The contract was awarded by Austrian rail infrastructure company OBB-Infrastruktur.

In January 2014, Implenia won the contract for the SBT2.1 section – the Froschnitzgraben Tunnel – worth around CHF770 million (€731.58) in total. Implenia took a 50% share of the consortium.

Within the SBT1.1 consortium, Implenia has a share of 40%, or around CHF192 million (€122.55 million), and is the technical lead.

The most eastward of the three SBT construction lots involves the creation of two single-track rail tunnels, each approximately 7.5km long. These are being bored from the Gloggnitz portal and the Gostritz access point, and they will be linked by 16 connecting galleries, an equipment gallery and two logistics shafts.

The Gostritz access point comprises an access tunnel and two 450m shafts.

Implenia said this was a complex project as in addition to tunnelling, shaft construction, building construction and roadworks, the project included slope stabilisation, excavation, concreting, asphalting, concrete ceilings, drainage and cabling work, as well as landscaping and maintenance.

Work is expected to begin this summer and will last until 2024.

It said that the SBT was currently one of the most important large-scale infrastructure projects in Central Europe. It forms part of Austria’s new southern railway, which serves as the central axis for the Trans-European Network (TEN-T) route between the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic.

With a total length of 27.3km, the SBT links the country’s Lower Austria and Steiermark regions.

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