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Lee Tunnel winner Morgan Est quits £300m Bond Street race

Morgan Sindall subsidiary Morgan Est has dropped out of the race for the £300 million Bond Street tube station redevelopment, it emerged last week.

Transport for London confirmed that Balfour Beatty, a Laing O’Rourke/Bachy Soletanche/Costain joint venture, and a joint venture between Taylor Woodrow and Bam Nuttall were all issued with tender documents.

All four bidders were shortlisted for the job last July but Morgan Est decided to withdraw in December and has declined to comment.

Industry sources suggest the contractor’s withdrawal was because of its recent success - as part of the MVB consortium with Vinci and Bachy Soletanche - in securing the £417m contract to build Thames Water’s Lee Tunnel.

One source said that the civils specialist would now have “enough on its plate”, while another said it may have opted out of the Bond Street job because of limited resources.

Last October, details emerged of proposed redundancies at Morgan Est, which would have halved its tunnelling division. It is unclear whether all the staff reductions were made.

The contractor remains in contention for the other outstanding TfL station job, the £700m Victoria Station upgrade, in a joint venture with Balfour Beatty. That contract is scheduled to be awarded in May after the decision was pushed back from August 2009 due to funding problems.

Taylor Woodrow/Bam Nuttall, which won the main contract for the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road tube station last December, and Laing O’Rourke/Bachy Soletanche/Costain complete the line-up for the Victoria job.

The remaining bidders for the Bond Street contract now have until April to return their tenders, and TfL expects to award the contract in the summer. Main construction is due to begin in late 2010, with the redevelopment of the station completed in early 2017.

The selected contractor will deliver an expansion of Bond Street tube station as well as a step-free link between the station and Crossrail Bond Street station.

The Lee Tunnel scheme - the first phase of Thames Water’s Thames Tideway project - will see the construction of a 6.9 km-long storage transfer tunnel from Abbey Mills Pumping Station to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.

The 7 m-diameter tunnel is due for completion by the end of 2014.