Next year’s World Cup soccer competition is providing powerful motivation on a major transportation project. Gautrain is an 80-kilometer rail line linking Johannesburg with Pretoria, with a spur leading to OR Tambo International Airport, which serves both cities. The route will tunnel underground for 15 km, cross 55 bridges and travel on viaducts for 10.5 km. It involves 6.7 million cubic meters of earthmoving, with a peak work force of 6,000. Phase one, the 20-km airport connector, is currently on target for its May 2010 deadline. It is structured as a public- private partnership, awarded to the Bombela Consortium, made
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.