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Crossrail project passes point of no return with final tunnel deals

Confirmation that Hochtief, J Murphy and Vinci Construction UK have won Crossrail’s Thames Tunnel and Connaught Tunnel jobs means all £1.5bn of tunnelling contracts have now been awarded.

£225M deal

The two contracts for the Thames Tunnel construction and Connaught Tunnel refurbishment are together worth in the region of £225M and will deliver around 3km of twin-bored tunnel.

Around 21km of twin-bore tunnel will be constructed for Crossrail in total.

Tunnelling work will begin in late 2011 with the first tunnel boring machine (TBM) starting work in spring 2012.
With all the tunnelling contracts now let and work underway at all central London station sites, the Crossrail project has now passed the point of no return and would be extremely difficult and expensive to stop.

“If you were a contractor looking at the market going forward, we are a very attractive proposition”

Andy Mitchell, Crossrail

Further contracts worth around £1.5bn will be awarded during 2011 including main construction contracts for new Crossrail stations in central London.

This will begin with the award of the Paddington and Farringdon station contracts. Paddington must be awarded early as it is on the critical path with TBMs due to pass through the largely complete station box next year.

Farringdon must be awarded early so that works can integrate with Network Rail’s work to rebuild the mainline and Tube stations at the site.

Mitchell said tender notices would be issued for the remaining station contracts next month, with bid deadlines staggered to allow the market to cope with the tendering process.

He said he expected work packages to be “hotly contested”.

“Crossrail is going to happen. We have a good, clean and fair version of the NEC contract. We have project bank accounts. If you were a contractor looking at the market going forward, we are a very attractive proposition.”

Crossrail will confirm the manufacturers for the project’s seven TBMs later this month.

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