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Skanska pulls out of £1bn Silvertown Tunnel race

Silvertown Tunnel approach

A Skanska consortium has pulled out of the bidding race for the £1bn east London Silvertown Tunnel.

Skanska has confirmed that the Skanska Strabag Meridiam consortium “has decided to withdraw from the Silvertown tender process” but declined to elaborate on the reason.

It leaves Ferrovial-owned Cintra Global and Hochtief still in the race to win the contract, which Transport for London (TfL) expects to award in spring 2019.

Silvertown Tunnel map

Silvertown Tunnel map

A decision on whether to go ahead with the 1km, twin-bore tunnel was pushed back by transport secretary Chris Grayling by six months to 10 May this year.

A TfL spokesperson said: “The Skanska Strabag consortium have informed us that they have withdrawn from the bidding process to deliver the proposed Silvertown Tunnel.

“The procurement process continues with the remaining bidders and we are on track to award the contract early next year, subject to the DfT reaching a decision on our Development Consent Order application, which is due by the 10th of May 2018.”

Air quality issues and planning concerns continue to dog the £1bn project. In August last year New Civil Engineer reported that a planning disagreement with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) posed a “significant risk” to the scheme.

As part of the scheme, there is a range of environmental and skills measures the winning bidder must be able to meet in order to win the construction deal. At least 55% of materials must be carried via the river. All vehicles must be Euro VI and compliant, they need to develop a community engagement plan and create around 150 local apprenticeships, job starts and educational opportunities.

Strabag and Meridiam have been contacted for comment.

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