CONTRACTORS LAST month reacted with dismay to news that they will have to rebid for the delayed ú2.5bn ($4.1bn) Section 2 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Preferred bidders for some Section 2 packages were chosen last year, as the project ran into financial trouble and had to be rescued by the government .
Rail Link Engineering, the consortium managing construction of the 109km high speed rail link between London and the Channel Tunnel has confirmed that it was rebidding the whole of Section 2 which runs from St Pancras in London to Ebbsfleet for a start on site by mid-2001.
'Contractors will be invited to prequalify in line with EEC (sic) Directives and a notice is to be published shortly in the Official Journal of the European Communities,' RLE said.
'As 18 months have passed since the project was restructured, changes to both the geography of the contract packages and the scope of the these packages have been made,' it added.
Contractors chosen as preferred bidders last year were not surprised that RLE had chosen to retender the contracts. But they warned it would create substantial additional costs.
'All big contracts cost a lot of money to bid for,' said a source at one contractor. 'The cost of bidding has to be recouped and will be passed onto customers in the industry.'
For details of the CTRL project visit www.ctrl.co.uk