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Consultants struggle to link with 2012 stadium bidders

STRUCTURES CONSULTANTS fear they will miss out on designing the London 2012 stadium because they are struggling to find contractors to team up and bid with.

Bidders are expected to form integrated teams with consultants before they put in formal expressions of interest in the stadium job.

Many major British contractors are tied up with bidding for the role of Olympic delivery partner, which will not be announced until early September, preventing them from pursuing the stadium contract.

Client the Olympic Delivery Authority has told contractors that they cannot both build the stadium and act as project managers (NCE 6 April).

An initial expression of interest for the main stadium must be made by 4 September, leaving little time for the contractors who miss out on the project manager contract to team up with designers.

Senior managers of top consultancy rms said that this left them 'sitting on their hands' waiting for the ODA to award the delivery partner contract.

Amec, Balfour Beatty, Laing O'Rourke, Bovis Lend Lease and Bechtel are all bidding to project manage the Olympic construction programme.

Only contractor Sir Robert McAlpine has decided against bidding for the project delivery contract, preferring to go for the main stadium contract instead.

It has teamed up with engineer Buro Happold and architect HOK, the team it worked on the recently completed Arsenal stadium project.

'We all know about the McAlpine team, but all the others are up for grabs, ' said stadia director for one major engineering consultancy.

He added that it was poor planning on the ODA's part to appoint a delivery partner so close to the deadline for declarations of interest in the main stadium contract.

The ODA said that contractors bidding for the role of Olympic delivery partner could express interest in the main stadium, but could not win both contracts.

'But we'll have hundreds of other contracts which the delivery partner can win so long as they can demonstrate mechanisms for dealing with the inherit con ct of interests, ' she said.

She added that the ODA had already received 50 expressions of interest in the main stadium.

Find out more about 2012 projects from ODA chief executive David Higgins at the Games Brieng Conference, email: construct conferences@emap. com

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