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Silvertown Tunnel delay revealed

Silvertown tunnel

The contract award for the beleaguered £1bn Silvertown Tunnel has been delayed by five months, moving the opening date from 2023 to 2024.

The award of the contract to build the 1.4km twin-bore road tunnel under the Thames to connect Silvertown and the Greenwich Peninsula, will now go ahead in July 2019.

The delay was revealed in a recently published Transport for London (TfL) board paper which said additional ground investigation surveys had to be completed.

The paper went on to say that a delay in getting a development consent order (DCO) had affected private land access which prevented the remaining land surveys from taking place on time.

It said the surveys had now been carried out, and the information would inform the bidders’ final technical submissions, which are expected at the end of January 2019.

TfL said it was currently evaluating the first stage of technical submissions which were delivered in July.

Ferrovial-owned Cintra Global and Hochtief are still believed to be in the race to win the contract, after a Skanska/Straberg joint venture pulled out of the race in March. The bidders are undergoing a confidential dialogue as part of the procurement process. During the process, the contractors have been invited to interact with TfL to ask questions and develop a more thorough design.

Around £45M has been spent on the scheme to date.

The project has already faced a tumultuous history. In May, after seven months of uncertainty, the scheme was granted a development consent order (DCO), which came with several conditions attached to it.

Initially a decision on the tunnel was due in October last year, but this was pushed back by a month to give the government more time to assess the scheme. It was then pushed pack by a further six months in November last year.

The schme will also face several challenges going forward including issues with a nearby chemical plant, environmental concerns and council worries over air quality.

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