BECHTEL HAS lost its bid to programme manage the World Trade Center clean-up operation after a dramatic U-turn by the City of New York.
Bechtel was widely expected to be appointed programme manager at the Ground Zero site, replacing New York City's department of design and construction.
The San Francisco-based contractor was the clear favourite to take over, despite a late counter bid from Bovis Lendlease LMB.
Bovis, which has worked on the site as a contractor since 11 September with Amec, Tully and Turner, is expected to rebid for the programme management role. It claims its bid would be considerably cheaper.
'We are refining our earlier proposal to take the lead for the remainder of the work with Amec and Tully as subcontractors, ' said a Bovis source.
It is thought that Bechtel was rejected because of unrest from construction unions working on the site. They are thought to have been worried that Bechtel would bring in nonunion labour.
Existing firms that had worked on the site since the collapse of the World Trade Center were also uncomfortable with an outside firm taking over.
The City of New York's department of design and construction had originally wanted to hire a programme manager so that it could concentrate on its $1.6bn construction plan.