Crossrail awards first tunnelling contracts

10 December 2010
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11 December 2010 | Lindsay Clark

The Crossrail partnership has awarded the tunnelling contracts for Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

The partnership between the Department forTransport and Transport for London – which is responsible for building a new rail line through London linking Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex – said the competitive bidding process had resulted in contract awards of £1.25 billion for three separate engineering joint ventures.

The tender has contributed to a reduction in Crossrail’s overall estimated cost of around £1 billion.

The contracts will create 18km of twin-bore tunnels underneath central London. Tunnelling activity will commence in late 2011, with the first tunnel-boring machine set to start its journey in spring 2012.

The contracts awarded this week are the first of nearly 30 major contracts to be let by Crossrail over the next 18 months. A further series of tunnelling contracts will be awarded in 2011, including the Thames Tunnel between Plumstead and Woolwich, and remaining contracts for tunnel portals and station platform tunnels.

Rob Holden, Crossrail chief executive, said in a statement: “Significant competition in the construction industry for Crossrail work has delivered highly competitive bids. Over £1 billion in savings to Crossrail’s construction costs have been identified to date, in part due to a more efficient construction timetable, and these contract awards will help secure these savings.”

The four contract awards are as follows:

Western Running Tunnels (Royal Oak to Farringdon)
Joint venture comprising: BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman, Kier Construction

Eastern Running Tunnels (Limmo Peninsula to Farringdon; Limmo Peninsula to Victoria Dock; Stepney Green to Pudding Mill Lane)
Joint venture comprising: Dragados, John Sisk & Son

Early Access Shafts and Sprayed Concrete Lining Works for Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road station tunnels
Joint venture comprising: BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman, Kier Construction

Early Access Shafts and Sprayed Concrete Lining Works for Whitechapel and Liverpool Street station tunnels
Joint venture comprising: Alpine BeMo Tunnelling, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Morgan Sindall (Infrastructure), VINCI Construction Grands Projects.

The contracts are subject to the 10-day standstill period required by European procurement regulations before final award.

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