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Crossrail announces more tunnelling shortlists

Crossrail has today shortlisted seven construction teams for the Connaught Tunnel on the Abbey Wood branch and the Pudding Mill Lane Tunnel portal

Shortlisted for the Connaught Tunnel are Vinci Construction UK, a Hochtief/Murphy joint venture, Bam Nuttall and a VolkerFitzpatrick/Barhale joint venture.

Shortlisted for the Pudding Mill Lane Tunnel Portal are Vinci Construction, Carillion, a Dragados/Sisk joint venture and Morgan Sindall.

The invitation to tender for both contracts will be issued next month. Crossrail intends to award contracts in 2011.

To deliver the Crossrail branch to Abbey Wood, a major proportion of the construction work involves reusing disused rail infrastructure including the Connaught Tunnel on the former North London Line branch to North Woolwich and disused National Rail tracks to Custom House – which both closed to passenger traffic in December 2006.

The Connaught Tunnel is around 550m long and runs between Royal Victoria Dock and Royal Albert Dock close to London City Airport. The tunnel dates back to 1850.

Crossrail will be enlarging the existing tunnel so that it can accommodate Crossrail trains and overhead line equipment. Sections of the existing tunnel are in a poor structural condition. Around 100 metres of tunnel wall will be removed and will be replaced with a new tunnel lining. The existing brick arches, part of the tunnel approaches, will be retained and repaired.

Crossrail also said that “good progress” continues to be made with the procurement of the three main running tunnel contracts, despite putting back the annoucement on winners expected to next year.

Tenders have been received for Contract 300 (Royal Oak to Farringdon) and Contract 305 (Limmo to Farringdon) and are currently being evaluated, it said. Bids for Contract 310 (Plumstead to North Woolwich) are due to be received this month. Tenders for the four station tunnel contracts at Bond Street, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Whitechapel will all have been submitted by the end of September.

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