The awarding of the £8.6bn civils contracts for the first phase of High Speed 2 has been pushed back until at least June, Construction News understands.
The seven packages were initially expected to be handed out next month, but bidders have now been informed this has been delayed.
It is understood that HS2’s procurement team has requested more information from bidders ahead of making final decisions.
HS2 told Construction News that construction of phase one from London to Birmingham remained on schedule and that the main contracts for the work would be awarded in the summer.
A spokesman said: “Our main works contractors will go on to deliver the bulk of the construction work on the project and we are currently undertaking a rigorous evaluation and selection process to ensure that we get the right companies in place.”
In March 2016 HS2 shortlisted nine bidders to deliver up to £11.8bn of major civils work on the rapid rail link.
In June these teams – eight consortiums and Bechtel as a sole bidder – were invited to tender for seven packages worth up to £8.6bn on phase one.
They will later become eligible to bid for work valued at up to £3.2bn on phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe.
Last April then HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby told Construction News main civils contractors would be “on board by next April by the latest. We intend to hold to that plan”.
Phase one of HS2 achieved royal assent in February, paving the way for construction to start on the line.
HS2 told Construction News its early works contractors were already preparing for activities on the ground and would begin these within the next few months.
Three JVs were chosen in November 2016 for the three enabling packages worth a total of £900m.
Laing O’Rourke / Murphy scooped the package for the northern section of the line; Morgan Sindall / Bam Nuttall / Ferrovial’s Fusion JV won the central section; and Costain / Skanska bagged the southern section.
HS2 main civils work bidders
- Acciona / Lagan Construction Group / Sisk
- Balfour Beatty / Vinci
- Bouygues / Sir Robert McAlpine / VolkerFitzpatrick
- Carillion / Eiffage / Kier
- Costain / Skanska / Strabag
- Galliford Try / Hochtief / Dragados
- Laing O’Rourke / Murphy / FCC
- Morgan Sindall / Bam Nuttall / Ferovial Agroman
HS2 main civils work packages
- Lot S1 – Euston tunnels and approaches (£600m-£900m)
- Lot S2 – Northolt tunnels (£850m-£1.4bn)
- Lot C1 – Chiltern tunnels and Colne Valley viaduct (£800m-£1.3bn)
- Lot C2 – North Portal Chiltern tunnels to Brackley (£800m-£1.3bn)
- Lot C3 – Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel south portal (£600m-£900m)
- Lot N1 – Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel to Delta Junction / Birmingham Spur (£900m-£1.5bn)
- Lot N2 – Delta Junction to West Coast Main Line tie-in (£800m-£1.3bn)