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Mitchell quits Crossrail for top Thames Tideway job

Crossrail programme director to move on as project passes halfway stage.

Andy Mitchell

MItchell: Has been leading the Crossrail construction programme

Crossrail programme director Andrew Mitchell has decided to jump ship to the £4.1bn Thames Tideway Tunnel where he will become chief executive of the project’s delivery organisation.
He will reporting to the organisation’s chairman Sir Neville Simms.

Crossrail is in the process of negotiating Mitchell’s leaving date and as yet has no plans in place for replacing him.

The £14.8bn project this month reached the halfway point, and all tunnelling work is due for completion this year. The project then enters its crucial systems and fit out phase with trains due to start running
in 2018.

The 25km Thames Tideway Tunnel has been proposed by Thames Water to cut sewage discharges into the river.
Mitchell will lead the development of the company responsible for financing and delivering the landmark project. He said: “As an engineer, I am passionate about the critical place well-functioning infrastructure has in driving prosperity and growth.

“Just like Crossrail, the Thames Tideway Tunnel is essential to the long-term social and economic wellbeing of the capital and the country.

“I am honoured and excited to have this opportunity to be in the vanguard of making the project a reality at last.

“Having been closely involved in its establishment at Crossrail, I am particularly looking forward to developing the tunnelling and underground construction academy at the Thames Tideway Tunnel, ensuring the country has a ready and available pool of engineers capable of meeting the infrastructure challenges the country faces over the next few decades.”

Simms told NCE in December that the Thames Tideway Tunnel team was learning heavily from the Crossrail scheme.

“Crossrail goes before us and there are all sorts of things to learn in terms of logistics, underground conditions and labour requirements,” he said.

“The team here has been learning from Crossrail in areas including traffic management; how to deal with local communities; how to be a good neighbour; and health and safety.

“There is an open dialogue between the teams - they are happy to share and we are happy to learn.”

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is required to help prevent discharge into the River Thames of untreated sewage from London’s Victorian sewerage network.

At present, as little as 2mm of rainfall can trigger a discharge from combined sewer overflows along the river’s tidal stretches in central London.

In March, the Planning Inspectorate is due to conclude a six-month examination of an application for construction work at 24 sites, from Acton in west London to Stratford in
the east.

Ministers are scheduled to decide whether or not to accept the inspectors’ recommendation in September.

Eight teams of contractors have been shortlisted across three packages that make up the £2.3bn main construction phase of the scheme.

Construction contracts are scheduled to be awarded in 2015, with the main tunnel works due to begin in 2016, lasting seven years.

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