Crossrail has appointed Bechtel as its project delivery partner for the £16 billion cross London rail scheme.
The US firm, working together with supply chain partners Halcrow and Systra, beat Legacy 3, a joint venture between Parsons Brinckerhoff, Balfour Beatty and Davis Langdon, and a Laing O’Rourke/Atkins joint venture to the £400 million job.
Bechtel will oversee work on the 21km of twin-bored tunnels, which is expected to be divided into three contracts, that will run from Paddington in the west through to Stratford and Custom House in the east.
Most boring will occur in London clay, from where tunnelling begins just west of Paddington.
After that digging will take place through a combination of clay, Lambeth beds and Thanet sands, finally hitting chalk under the river.
In east London the tunnel branches into two, with the northern branch of Crossrail emerging at Pudding Mill Lane, just before Stratford.
The southern branch emerges above ground between the Victoria Dock Portal and the North Woolwich Portal, just after Custom House station on the Docklands Light Railway. It goes underground again to run beneath the Thames and emerges for the last time at the Plumstead Portal before terminating at Abbey Wood.
This follows the recent announcement that Transcend will help Crossrail as programme partner to deliver safely the overall programme to time, to the desired standard and within budget.