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King's Cross work set to restart after two years

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WORK IS expected to begin on King's Cross Underground Station's northern ticket hall next month, two years after construction was stopped amid escalating costs, NCE learned this week.

The contract for the project is due to be signed by the end of this month, with construction due to start immediately.

It is understood that Balfour Beatty will carry out the work, although final contract details are still being worked out after more than a year of talks.

Former transport minister Kim Howells put the project on hold in January 2004 (NCE 5 February 2004) after costs doubled to £250M. Piling and tunnelling for the ticket hall had already begun.

In February 2005, the scheme was given the go ahead by then transport minister Tony McNulty.

But this was on the condition that the project was integrated with Network Rail's plans to build a western concourse on top of it and that the combined cost of the two projects was less than £400M.

Since then London Underground (LUL) and Balfour Beatty have been value engineering the two schemes. This has led to some facilities, such as the British Transport Police offi es, being shared by LUL and Network Rail.

The northern ticket hall is scheduled to be complete in September 2009, allowing the western concourse to be ready by 2011 and operational for the 2012 Olympics.

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