Contractors winning the main civils packages for phase one of High Speed 2 will also be entered on to a potentially lucrative framework, New Civil Engineer has learned.
Jim Crawford, infrastructure managing director at promoter HS2 Ltd, said those teams selected for the big contracts to build the route from London to Birmingham would form an “HS2 framework”.
This will be used to find replacement contractors should winning teams have to leave their packages for any reason. It could also be the starting point for allocating work on the Birmingham to Crewe section of the line.
“We put an option in the Official Journal of the EU notice for the main works civils contracts that, should phase 2a works be granted royal assent in the right timescales, we have the opportunity to run a competition with the successful main civils firms from phase 1,” said Crawford.
“The contract winners will be on an HS2 framework that has two functions. It gives access, should we choose to go down that route, to bid on phase 2a. Also should we have a performance issue with one of the main contracts, it allows the other members of the framework to pick up additional work.”
Nine teams were last month shortlisted for the seven main surface route and tunnels packages on phase 1 of the rapid rail link. Each team can win up to two packages, meaning the winners’ framework will have between four and seven teams.
Government announced last year that work on phase 2b of High Speed 2 would be completed six years earlier than planned.
The Birmingham to Crewe leg will open in 2027, just a year after the first phase from London to Birmingham.
The rest of the second phase – from Crewe to Manchester; and from Birmingham to Leeds – is not expected to be operational until 2033.