Construction News understands that Hochtief has been awarded a £62 million Hitchin flyover contract in one of the first projects to be trialled under Network Rail’s new procurement models.
The contractor will work in an alliance with Network Rail on the fixed-price scheme. The rail operator is trialling seven new procurement models across £6 billion worth of contracts including the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, £600m Birmingham Gateway and £800m London Bridge upgrade.
Network Rail programme director Ian Ballentine told CN (News, 2 June) that the alliance model would see risk and reward shared on contracts between the rail body and contractor with pre-agreed caps in place to ensure the cost of the project does not run over the target.
The Hitchin flyover scheme will consist of the design and construction of 2km of new railway alignment. The main elements of civil works are a 1,200m-long embankment and 840m-long, 30 span viaduct, with the main span crossing over the East Coast Main Line.
The contractor will also build a separate access road to the project to alleviate construction traffic.
A public enquiry into the project took place last year after local oopposition to the plan with fears over traffic disruption.
However Network Rail say the past decade has seen a 35 per cent increase in passengers travelling between Peterborough and London and an 18 per cent increase in journeys between London and Cambridge.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “The Hitchin scheme is one of seven included in the first phase roll-out of a new way of doing business – opening up our biggest rail projects and programmes to Britain’s leading construction and engineering companies at an early stage, enabling them to create value throughout the development process.
“The move will enable Network Rail to adopt a more market-led approach to project delivery, helping the company identify where costs can be cut across its renewals and enhancement programmes.”
Initial works are set to get underway next month with construction expected to take up to two years.
Network Rail’s new procurement models
The seven projects are:
Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP)
London Bridge (part of Thameslink programme)
High-output delivery of the Great Western electrification scheme
National major resignalling projects
Civils renewals programme