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NCE Live News Updates Wednesday 6 November 2013: HS2 sets out first phase to suppliers

Scheme promoter High Speed 2 Ltd has held its first supplier day for the £17bn first phase of work from London to Birmingham.

11am: Westminster City Council has approved plans for a new office development at Crossrail’s Bond Street station.

Crossrail development partner Grosvenor’s plan for 65 Davies Street will be located above the western ticket hall for Crossrail’s new Bond Street station. The scheme comprises six floors of office accommodation above the station, served by an entrance lobby on Davies Street.

Grosvenor will be responsible for delivering the scheme once the Crossrail station and ticket hall are completed in 2017.


10.30am: Merseylink’s Mersey Gateway preparation work yesterday began following Halton Borough Council’s decision to approve the planning application covering improvements to the Bridgewater Junction in Runcorn.

The developer says the work is an essential part of the preparation for construction to start in earnest on the £600M bridge project early next year. The project involves a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey. The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project, which is expected to help create thousands of new jobs, secure inward investment to the area and deliver important regeneration benefits.

Between now and Christmas the Merseylink consortium – named as preferred bidder in June – will be carrying out work in both Runcorn and Widnes that includes clearing trees from sites in the Astmoor, Bridgewater and Ditton areas, and survey work at sites on both sides of the river.

Once contracts have been signed with the council, Merseylink will then start work on an access road across the Salt Marsh on the south side of the Mersey.

Following on from this, a temporary jetty will be positioned in the river, allowing construction of coffer dams to take place. The work on the cofferdams – temporary watertight enclosures which expose the river bed where work will start on the first of the pier foundations – is scheduled to start early next year, with the entire project to be completed in 2017.

“This work is an exciting indication that this long-awaited project is going to start to become a reality,” said Merseylink project director Chris Rhead.

9.30am: Scheme promoter High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd has set out details of over £10bn worth of contracts for the first phase of the scheme to a supply chain audience in Birmingham.

The event, held yesterday, was attended by over 600 firms with 800 delegates, and is the first in a series of supplier events the organisation is due to hold to involve firms in the planning, design and construction of the mega-rail scheme.

The tunnels package of contracts is expected to be worth £3.8bn, civils £7.7bn, stations with depots and stabling £4bn and railway systems £4.1bn.

“As constructors and engineers, you understand the importance of good infrastructure…,” said Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin. “Trouble is, you haven’t had the chance to work on any really pioneering national transport schemes – anything that Brunel or Telford would have approved of – for some considerable time.

“Because, while our competitors like France, Germany, Japan and China have been investing for the future, we’ve rather opted out of the infrastructure race.”

The costs

The target price for delivering phase one of HS2 from London to Birmingham is £17.16bn pounds (in 2011 prices). This is the base price of the latest estimate of the cost of Phase One, £15.6bn, plus a contingency allowance of 10%, and also takes into account the design and environmental changes to improve the scheme, many of which were set out in the design refinement consultation that launched in May 2013

Overall funding for Phase One has been set at £21.4 billion, including contingency of around £5.7bn. It is expected that the level of contingency will reduce over time.

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