Hole lot of dig­ging to do on the River­bank

The Advertiser - - NEWS - SIMEON THOMAS-WIL­SON CITY ED­I­TOR

ONE of the big­gest earth­works con­tracts in the state’s his­tory has been awarded to dig one of the big­gest holes Ade­laide has ever seen – for a five-storey carpark be­neath the River­bank.

Walker Cor­po­ra­tion has handed a $30 mil­lion con­tract to na­tional civil con­trac­tor Delta Group as part of its $500 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment of the Fes­ti­val Plaza precinct – now known as Fes­ti­val Square – which will de­liver the new carpark, pub­lic and arts spa­ces and a con­tro­ver­sial of­fice tower.

A 1600-space, five-level base­ment carpark will be the fo­cus of the con­tract, which has re­sulted in Delta open­ing an of­fice and yard in Ade­laide.

Delta will drill 15m un­der­ground to re­move an es­ti­mated 130,000 cu­bic me­tres of ma­te­rial over 14 months.

Walker Cor­po­ra­tion South Aus­tralia se­nior de­vel­op­ment man­ager Ben Moore said that would ready the site for the con­struc­tion of the carpark this year.

“We only started work in May of last year when we were for­mally pro­vided ac­cess to the site, so it’s been a very busy work sched­ule since then,’’ he said. “The de­mo­li­tion (of the old plaza) and ex­ca­va­tion process is lit­er­ally huge, it’s cre­at­ing an enor­mous space that is start­ing to give a sense of the scale of the de­vel­op­ment.”

“In some ways, it’s a pity that the hoard­ings pre­vent peo­ple from see­ing what’s hap­pen­ing. I think they’d be quite im­pressed.”

Ne­go­ti­a­tion over the lon­gawaited carpark was one of the ma­jor stick­ing points that de­layed SkyCity’s de­ci­sion to pro­ceed with a $330 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of Ade­laide Casino.

In 2017 The Ad­ver­tiser re­vealed ty­coon Lang Walker had struck a deal with SkyCity for the casino op­er­a­tor to lease 750 spa­ces in an ex­panded car- park. The plaza re­de­vel­op­ment will cre­ate 10,000sq m of pub­lic space mod­elled on city squares such as Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona and Le­ices­ter Square in Lon­don.

A 23-storey tower with 40,000sq m of of­fice space will rise be­tween the casino and Par­lia­ment House, and a com­mer­cial area will have cafes, restau­rants and shops.

The ex­panded Ade­laide Casino will have a 123-room lux­ury ho­tel, three bars and three sig­na­ture restau­rants.

Pic­ture: DEAN MARTIN

DIG IT: Walker Cor­po­ra­tion pro­ject man­ager Ben Moore at work with de­sign man­ager Sascha Frost.

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