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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The Western Roads Upgrade project’s operations have been certified by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) under a three-year IS Operations sustainability rating.

Achieving a Commended rating score of 30.7 for the first year submission, the project is one of only three assets in Australia with an IS rating for operations.

The IS rating tool was developed by ISCA in collaboration with the industry, to drive and measure sustainability within infrastructure projects and assets.

It is the only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across the planning, design, construction and operations of infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand.

The $1.8 billion Western Roads Upgrade public-private partnership comprises priority road upgrades and rehabilitation and maintenance of more than 260 kilometres of road across Melbourne’s west for 23 years.

It is Victoria’s largest single investment in arterial roads and – by combining capital works upgrades with long-term network operations – is the first of its kind for an arterial road network in Australia.

Netflow Western Roads Upgrade CEO Jose Espinosa said the ISCA rating is a result of collaboration among project partners and suppliers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions across the project’s operations.

“Our services contractor Ventia has led the development of many innovative sustainable initiatives during the project’s first three years, and this rating is just recognition for that,” Mr Espinosa said.

“This focus has resulted in the introduction of an innovative pavement design methodology that will reduce lifecycle materials impacts over the 23-year operations task, while other initiatives such as LED light upgrades at our maintenance depot have resulted in a 20 per cent reduction in electricity use.

“And even more pleasingly, a trial of a sustainable pavement product that incorporated recycled soft plastics, has confirmed its suitability for use on other road projects.”

Netflow services contractor Ventia will finalise the ISCA rating process for the operations of the project in 2022, and the project has also registered for an ISCA Design IS Rating.

In 2017 the Victorian Government contracted the Netflow consortium – comprising Plenary Group and Cintra as project sponsors and SPV managers, Plenary as financial arranger, WBHO Infrastructure as design and construction lead and Ventia as services contractor – to design, build, finance and maintain the project for 23 years in partnership with Major Road Projects Victoria and the Department of Transport.