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East London Line bonanza

Open day for contractors to attract bids for £450 million first phase of rail extension

THE £900 million East London Line Extension is finally going ahead after years of delay. Backers of the scheme are holding an open day for contractors next month to attract bidders for the £450 million first phase of the project.

Leaders at Transport for London are keen to attract the industry's major players to the event ahead of the invitation to bid in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 6.

Project spokesman Peter Boxell said: 'We want to get all the big firms along and show them the sort of work up for grabs.

'Things are moving quickly now and we want to let the contractors know what is available.'

The open day will be on Wednesday June 1 at the Tower Thistle Hotel in central London.An invitation to tender will appear in the OJEU five days later.

The main works contract is expected to be awarded in June 2006.

TfL is currently choosing a winner for the £30 million enabling works, which is being fought over by Taylor Woodrow, Gleeson and Birse.A winner will be announced on May 31 for the initial works on the first phase, which will eventually see the line extended north to Dalston and south to Crystal Palace and West Croydon.

Parson Brinckerhoff has already been named project manager on the line, which will be built in two phases.

Infrastructure work on the main phase one contract will include refurbishing a number of existing bridges and tunnels and creating new crossings and viaducts.

The contract also involves the construction of four new stations, track renewal and an overhaul of the route's telecommunications and signalling systems.

One major civils estimator said: 'There is a feeling that the scheme now genuinely appears to be moving forward.There is relief among many who have followed the project closely for so many years and who even prequalified for it in 2000 before it disappeared.

'I don't think the three teams going for the enabling works have the appetite for the bigger job and would predict none of them will be in the mix. It will be your Amecs, Balfours and Skanskas of this world.'

The line has had a troubled history and was held up for two years by environmental protesters who objected to the demolition of the historic Bishopsgate Goodsyard on the route.

Plans to start the main tender race last year were also scuppered following doubts over funding.

Mr Boxell said: 'The East London Line is the biggest single scheme in the Mayor's current plans to overhaul commuter networks in the capital and it will provide a lot of opportunities for contractors who are all welcome on the day.'

will be in the mix. It will be your Amecs, Balfours and Skanskas of this world.'

The line has had a troubled history and was held up for two years by environmental protesters who objected to the demolition of the historic Bishopsgate Goodsyard on the route.

Plans to start the main tender race last year were also scuppered following doubts over funding.

Mr Boxell said: 'The East London Line is the biggest single scheme in the Mayor's current plans to overhaul commuter networks in the capital and it will provide a lot of opportunities for contractors, which are all welcome on the day.'

To register for the open day, visit ellindustryday@tfl. gov. uk.