Exclusive: Construction firms are set to compete for more than £3bn of work when construction begins on HS2’s phase 2a line from Birmingham to Crewe, Construction News can reveal.
Documents filed by the Department for Transport reveal that an estimated £3.2bn will be needed to cover the construction of phase 2a, including enabling works, civils and associated utilities.
The document, signed off by chief executive Mark Thurston last month, showed that a combined total of £1.62bn is expected to be spent on enabling works, tunnelling and the construction of bridges, viaducts and other structures.
The phase 2a part of the line, which will stretch from Birmingham Curzon Street to Crewe, was initially expected to be completed in 2033 along with the branches of the line to Manchester and Leeds.
But this was brought forward to 2027 by the then chancellor George Osborne in 2015.
Prime minister Theresa May put forward the High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill as one of 21 bills put before parliament in June’s Queen’s Speech, giving HS2 the powers to build and operate this section of the line.
On 17 July transport secretary Chris Grayling submitted the phase 2a bill to parliament, with royal assent expected by 2019.
Phase 2a’s Estimate of Expense document revealed that £770m is expected to be spent on earthworks, including site clearance, spoil disposal and landscaping, while more than £850m would be set aside for bridges, tunnels and viaducts along the 60 km route.
Just under £200m is forecast to be spent on associated utility works, including £112m on gas works and £56m on water works.
The document also revealed that £185m was earmarked for station improvements, as well as £95m towards electrification and £146m for signal and telecommunication works (see full table of works).
In 2015 the government gave HS2 a funding envelope of £3.7bn for phase 2a’s construction as part of an overall £55.7bn funding for the line.
Design work for phase 2a is expected to begin in 2019, with construction scheduled to commence in 2021.
Work is likely to be split up into a number of packages similar to the phase one route from London to Birmingham, which was divided into three enabling batches worth £900m in total and seven civils packages valued at £6.6bn.
As part of Mr Osborne’s announcement in 2015, HS2 said firms that pre-qualify for phase one civils packages could automatically be shortlisted for phase 2a deals.
HS2 told Construction News in June this year that it still had the option to do this and could potentially run mini-bids for this part of the line.
The phase 2a route is based on proposals put forward in 2013, but these were refined following a consultation concluded last September.
New plans include building a temporary construction facility between the HS2 line and M6, a 2.5 km extension of the planned tunnel south of Crewe, and extend the length of the spurs that will connect HS2 with the West Coast Main Line.
The client revealed in the DfT document that it had set aside £288m to be spent on the purchase of land, mineral and permanent rights along the route.
HS2 phase 2a construction work
|HS2 phase 2a work||Cost|
|Earthworks incl site clearance, drainage and landscaping||£770m|
|Tunnels incl ventilation, drainage and bridges||£744m|
|Electrical and other equipment||£289m|
|Station and station improvements, maintenance and depots||£185m|
|Signalling and telecommunication||£146m|
|Diversion of overhead electric lines||£95m|
|Roads, streets, paved areas, bridges, other structures||£46m|
|ASSOCIATED UTILITY WORKS|
|Water supply and mains||£56m|
|Sewers and surface water||£6m|
|Purchase of land, mineral and permanent rights||£288m|