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Crossrail design contract retender could happen before work starts

Design contracts for Crossrail could still be re-tendered before construction begins, a source close to the project claimed last week.

Contracts are being rescoped after contractors have rejected design and build procurement (NCE 18 October 2007).

It is understood that there is time to re-let the Multi Disciplinary Design Consultants (MDCs) for designing Crossrail. These are held by Mott MacDonald, Halcrow, Scott Wilson and an Arup/Atkins joint venture.

"Optimised Contractor Involvement' (OCI)", which is under development specifically for Crossrail, would replace the original design and build option.

OCI would be, "Owner design to 70% of the way, then on to civil contractor involvement," said the source.

NCE also understands that Crossrail could be extended to Reading. "Network Rail will complete electrification to Reading around the time Crossrail opens," he said, making any extension to Reading relatively inexpensive.

Shadow House of Commons leader and Conservative MP for Maidenhead Theresa May said she would welcome such a move as it would make travel for her constituents easier.

"As things stand, I am concerned that my constituents in Twyford could find themselves with a greatly reduced service if Crossrail only runs as far as Maidenhead, because they might lose First Great Western services," said May.

It is now thought that Royal Assent for the Crossrail Bill may could be granted by July - earlier that previously thought, as fewer petitioners than expected have registered their interests at the Lords' committee stage.

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