The joint ventures named as preferred bidders for the £6.6bn HS2 phase one civils packages have officially signed the contracts for the deals, paving the way for work to start on the £55.7bn line.
The leaders of all four joint ventures picked as preferred bidders for the seven civils packages last month signed the contracts yesterday at HS2’s head office in Birmingham (pictured).
The signatories included Balfour Beatty / Vinci managing director Mark Cutler, Skanska / Costain / Strabag JV executive director Peter Jones, Carillion / Eiffage / Kier executive director Sean Jeffery, and Bouygues / Sir Robert McAlpine / VolkerFitzpatrick project director Jérôme Furgé.
Costain / Skanska / Strabag, Balfour Beatty / Vinci and Carillion / Kier / Eiffage scooped two packages each, while Bouygues / Sir Robert McAlpine / VolkerFitzpatrick’s Align JV secured the remaining package.
The lots will be awarded in two stages. Stage one will see teams given 16 months to develop a design, a programme and a target cost for the works.
Stage two will see construction of the main works begin in 2018/19 and is expected to take between four and five years to complete.
Skanska / Costain / Strabag won both southern deals, being chosen for the Euston tunnels and approaches package, worth £740m, and the Northolt Tunnels package, valued at £1bn.
Carillion / Kier / Eiffage clinched the central packages, picking up the £742m C2 North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley and the £616m C3 Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green south portal.
Balfour Beatty / Vinci landed both packages for the northern section of the line, landing the Wood Green tunnel to Delta Junction / Birmingham Spur worth £1.32bn and the Delta Junction to West Coast Main Line section worth £1.15bn.
The Align JV secured the Chiltern Tunnel and Colne viaduct worth £965m.
Following the award of the contracts, transport secretary Chris Grayling was forced to defend the choice of troubled contractor Carillion as one of the firms to build phase one.
Mr Grayling said the choice of Carillion would present no issues for the delivery of the contract, while HS2 confirmed that, following Carillion’s profit warning, it had received assurances from its partners, Kier and Effiage, that they were able to deliver the contract.
Speaking at the contract signing, HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “We are determined to deliver the project to new levels of safety and efficiency, with respect for communities, protection for the environment and value for money at the core of everything we do.
“The contracts we signed today will support 16,000 jobs and generate thousands of contract opportunities within the wider supply chain, spreading the benefits of this investment across the whole country.”