BECHTEL AND Bovis Lendlease LMB were this week battling to be appointed programme manager for the World Trade Center (WTC) clear up operation in New York.
The two are competing to take on work currently being managed by New York City's Department of Design & Construction (DDC). A winner is expected to be announced within a week.
The DDC needs a programme manager to replace it as co-ordinater of city and national agencies on the site so it can concentrate on managing its £1.1bn construction budget for New York.
Bechtel is widely expected to win but Bovis has put in a counter bid to manage the site, dubbed Ground Zero.
Bovis is one of four contractors working at the site. The others are Amec, Tully and Turner.
Bovis wants to continue its work with Amec and Tully as well as acting as programme manager for the whole project.
Turner would not be retained.
Bovis claimed that its experience of the site gained since the terrorist attacks on September 11 would make it a better choice than Bechtel.
It claims that bringing Bechtel in would disrupt the project, especially if existing contractors on site were replaced. Bechtel's proposal is also thought to be more expensive.
'We hope to retain construction management, with Bechtel doing administration and programme management, but whether that will come to pass we don't know, ' said a Bovis source.
Bovis is concerned that big changes could disrupt an operation that is running at least two months ahead of schedule. Targets of clearing debris down to ground level by the end of the year have been beaten and contractors are now working 8m below street level on some areas of the site.