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Crossrail tunnelling contract awards confirmed for 2011

Tunnelling contracts for London’s £15.9bn Crossrail scheme will not be awarded until 2011, scheme promoters have confirmed.

The contracts for the two main tunnelling packages − Package C300 for Western Running Tunnels and Package C305 for Eastern Running Tunnels − will account for a massive 18km of the 21km of twin bore tunnels that will run beneath central London and will be worth around 4% of the total £15.9bn project cost.

When the shortlists were announced in December last year Crossrail said it expected to award contracts by mid-2010.

A spokesman was keen to stress that this was not a delay. She said that the originally quoted date was merely an “indicative” date and that contracts will be awarded in 2011 in time for construction to still begin in late 2011 or early 2012.

Partnerships between Spanish giant Dragados and Irish firm John Sisk & Son and between Laing O’Rourke Construction and French giant Bouygues Travaux Publics were among five teams shortlisted for the two central London packages when they were announced last year.

The three other shortlisted teams are a Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, Vinci Construction Grand Projects and Beton-und Monierbau Gesellschaft joint venture; a Costain, Skanska and Bilfinger Berger team and a Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier Construction partnership.

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