More than £50M of cost reductions have already been made through value engineering on Crossrail, programme director Andy Mitchell told a British Tunnelling Society meeting last night.
“Through the Optimised Contractor Involvement initiative we have been able to refine ideas and take up proposals from unsuccessful tenders to deliver £50M of cost reductions already,” he said. “This is addition to the revised programme that has helped lower the cost of the overall scheme from the originally projected £17.8bn to £14bn.”
Transport minister Theresa Villiers confirmed in July that Crossrail was expected to cost no more than £14.5bn. “Forecasts continue to suggest that Crossrail will be delivered within its existing funding,” she said.
Mitchell said that work on the project is progressing well and the first tunnel boring machine will be delivered on site in December and is scheduled to start boring in March next year at Paddington. “I am very impressed at the rate at which work on site is picking up and progressing,” he said. “Next year will see real developments as far as tunnel construction is concerned.”
Mitchell is taking a very hands-on approach to the project and said, “No one is going to open up a big hole in London without me knowing all about it.” This control is part of Crossrail’s Readiness to Dig strategy under which contractors have to go through a rigorous checking procedure – including an interview with Mitchell - before moving onto site.