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Crossrail looks to make further cost savings for stations as Government review looms

Crossrail is to look for more cost savings in its £1.5bn station construction contracts, it has revealed this week.

All major stations out to tender

Invitations to tender for £950M of station construction work at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel were issued this week. The announcement means all six major central London stations are out to tender with a combined value of £1.5bn.

But the client has made it clear that it is looking for savings, and has told firms that it would consider bids for more than one station if they offered efficiencies.
Crossrail has already found savings by merging contracts. Late last year a joint venture of Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and Kier secured the lucrative contract to build the western running tunnels by combining it with construction of sprayed concrete lined tunnels and early access shafts for Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road stations (NCE 16 December 2010).

Cutting costs

This move helped the firm cut the cost of the project from £15.9bn to £14.4bn, securing it government support in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
But the project has still to pass its critical final Treasury review point. This should have been passed by the end of last year, but has now been delayed until the spring.

Transport minister Theresa Villiers told the House of Commons in December that she needed to see more savings before the scheme gets final approval.

“Crossrail Limited continues to work to achieve further savings in advance of the final review point for the project in spring next year [2011]. I expect to make a further update on progress then,” she said.

Crossrail’s OJEU notice for the station work makes clear that savings are needed. The projected cost of all stations is now expected at the upper end of the range originally forecast.

“Crossrail Limited continues to work to achieve further savings in advance of the final review point for the project in spring next year”

Theresa Villiers

“Crossrail Limited may consider potential efficiencies of Lot combinations as part of the tender process,” it says.

Crossrail programme director Andy Mitchell told NCE that the firm intends to start awarding the contracts from late summer.

“Following the award of the major tunnelling contracts last month, procurement for all the central London Crossrail stations is now underway,” he said.

“This year will be a year of significant continued progress for Crossrail with further high value contracts to be awarded.“The remaining tunnel contracts will be awarded and main contracts for all central London Crossrail stations will be let.”

Timelines announced

Bond Street station is now expected to cost £200M and take 60 months to build; Tottenham Court Road station will also cost £200M and take 46 months to build; Liverpool Street station will cost £300M and take 70 months to build; and Whitechapel station will cost £250M and take 72 months to build.

Crossrail has also finalised the shortlist for Paddington station, with five teams invited to tender. They are joint ventures from Costain/Skanska, Balfour Beatty/Morgan Sindall/Vinci, Bam Nuttall/Ferrovial/Kier and Laing O’Rourke/Strabag. Carillion is also shortlisted as a lone player.

The shortlist for Farringdon station has yet to be announced.

Crossrail announced the award of the major tunnelling contracts in December 2010. The remaining Thames Tunnel construction and Connaught Tunnel refurbishment contracts will be awarded during 2011.

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