London’s massive Crossrail project is gathering pace as work begins and senior management roles are filled.
It has been a significant three months for Crossrail. In May prime minister Gordon Brown and London mayor Boris Johnson marked the start of Crossrail construction at an event at Canary Wharf.
The Mayor and transport secretary Lord Adonis sunk the first steel pile that will form part of the new Crossrail Canary Wharf station, previously called Isle of Dogs. The new station, one of the largest on the Crossrail route, is being built below the water of North Dock.
Crossrail will increase the capacity of transport services to and from Canary Wharf and the surrounding area, helping underpin further development and investment in this key business and retail district. Canary Wharf will be served by 12 trains per hour in each direction during peak hours.
While construction has begun at Canary Wharf station, preliminary works have been continuing along other parts of the route.
“Of central importance to the project is the need to deliver on time and to budget, safely and keeping disruption minimised as much as possible.”
Surveying and enabling works are underway, while the property acquisition process has begun. The next phase of the programme at Tottenham Court Road commenced at the end of May and work at Paddington and Farringdon will begin later this year.
The main Crossrail construction programme begins in 2010 with tunnelling commencing in 2011. Of central importance to the project is the need to deliver on time and to budget, safely and keeping disruption minimised as much as possible, given the size and scale of the project.
Another development was the agreement reached with the London Fire Brigade and Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate on a revised method to provide access for the emergency services to Crossrail tunnels.
Along the Crossrail route cross-passages between tunnels will replace previously proposed permanent intervention shafts. These passages will meet or in some cases be better for the needs of the emergency services.
“The project is now gathering momentum and we look forward to finalising the design and preparing the way for construction.”
Shafts that would have been located at Westbourne Bridge, Hyde Park, Park Lane, Hanbury Street, Lowell Street, Hertsmere Road, Blackwall Way and Warren Lane have now been deleted from Crossrail’s proposals.
Their removal means the elimination of construction impacts, including some lorry journeys and demolitions. It emphasises the commitment to minimise as much as possible any disruption caused by building Crossrail.
The Crossrail top team has also been changing. I took up the post of chairman on 1 June, Rob Holden started as chief executive on 1 April, Andy Mitchell and David Bennett have been appointed programme director and implementation director and Martin Buck has joined Crossrail as commercial director.
Global leaders in construction and project management are also strengthening the Crossrail team. The project is now gathering momentum and we look forward to finalising the design and preparing the way for construction to start in earnest next year.