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Work to restart on King's Cross ticket hall

WORK IS expected to begin on King's Cross Underground Station's northern ticket hall this month, two years after construction was stopped amid escalating costs.

The contract for the project was due to be signed by the end of last month, with construction starting immediately.

It is understood Balfour Beatty will be carrying out the work, although final contract details are still being worked out after more than a year of talks.

Former transport minister Kim Howells put the project on hold in January 2004 after costs doubled to £250M. Piling and tunnelling for the ticket hall had already begun.

In February 2005 the scheme was given the go ahead by then transport minister Tony McNulty. But this was on the condition the project was integrated with Network Rail's plans to build a western concourse on top of it and that the combined cost of the two projects was less than £400M.

Since then London Underground (LU) and Balfour Beatty have been value engineering the two schemes.

This has led to some facilities, such as British Transport Police offices, being shared by LU and Network Rail.

The northern ticket hall is scheduled for completion in September 2009, allowing the western concourse to be ready by 2011 and operational for the 2012 Olympics.

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