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London mayor makes statement of intent with Isle of Dogs ground breaking ceremony

Work to build London’s mega-rail project Crossrail starts tomorrow at the site of the Isle of Dogs station in Docklands.

The £500M station box will be built partially below the water level at North Quay, next to Canary Wharf.

London mayor Boris Johnson, transport secretary Lord Adonis, Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy, Crossrail chief executive Rob Holden and outgoing Crossrail chairman Doug Oakervee will be present when a drilling rig will signal the start of work on cofferdam construction for the station box.

Developer Canary Wharf Group last week appointed contractor Laing O’Rourke as delivery partner for the box, which is designed by consultant Arup.

The first major piece

Although some preliminary work has taken place for the Crossrail scheme, Isle of Dogs station will be the first major piece of civil engineering.

Laing O’Rourke subsidiary Expanded Piling had previously won the job to create the huge 260m long, 30m wide and 22m deep cofferdam which will house the station. For this it will insert 1.2m diameter tubular steel piles into the dock bed. The station is expected to be completed by summer next year.

Canary Wharf Group chief executive George Iacobescu said: “Canary Wharf and London’s transport infrastructure needs to keep pace with future growth, especially if we are to retain our position as a global commercial centre in the face of competition from developing cities around the world.”

Holden said: “This is another important step forward for the project and further proof of the will and determination to see Crossrail built. I am delighted that preparations for the start of work on this key station are so well advanced.”

Isle of Dogs: key facts

Although the station is just one part of the overall Crossrail scheme, it is a huge project in its own right. It will take the form of a 260m-long box - as long as the tallest building at Canary Wharf.

  • The box is between 27m and 30m wide and is six storeys high. Four of these storeys will be underground or underwater in the north dock of West India Quay in Canary Wharf.
  • The bottom floor of the station will be the platform level, around 22m below water level and 13m below the dock bed. Above this will be a concourse level, two levels of retail, followed by two furtherretail levels above water and a man-made landscaped park level.
  • The top of the box is finished off by a wooden lattice structure with ETFE cladding to allow light into the area.

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