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Final Crossrail tunnelling deals done

The line-up of contractors carrying out tunnelling work on Crossrail is complete after the final packages were awarded last week.

Crossrail awarded three contracts worth £275 million for work on the landmark trans-London rail link.

A Hochtief/J Murphy & Sons joint venture scooped the £190m Thames Tunnel, also known as C310, which will run from Plumstead to North Woolwich.

Vinci won the £35m Connaught tunnel refurbishment job, technically labelled C315, while Morgan Sindall secured the £50m Pudding Mill Lane Portal scheme, C350.

Of these firms, only Hochtief had yet to win Crossrail work. J Murphy & Sons were appointed to the enabling works framework, and Morgan Sindall and Vinci are part of a joint venture with Balfour Beatty that will build all tunnels and associated works at Whitechapel and Liverpool Street stations.

Morgan Sindall chief executive Paul Smith said: “We are delighted to have secured our second Crossrail project. The work involved is highly complex and technically challenging.”

With the exception of one shaft tender - for the Eleanor Street and Mile End Shafts - all contracts related to tunnelling on the scheme have now been awarded.

Main construction for the Crossrail project - featuring 21 km of twin 6.2 m internal diameter bored tunnels - is scheduled to begin this year.

The contractors working on the tunnelling packages are as follows (see map):

1 Royal Oak Portal (£15m), Costain/Skanska

2 Western tunnels and shafts (£650m), Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman and Kier joint venture

3 Eastern tunnels (£550m), Sisk/Dragados joint venture

4 Connaught tunnel refurbishment (£35m), Vinci

5 Thames Tunnels (£190m), Hochtief/J Murphy & Sons

6 Pudding Mill Lane Portal (£50m), Morgan Sindall.

On the bidding front, contractors’ attentions will now turn to station works. The main station packages for both Farringdon and Paddington are due to be awarded later this year.

Four teams have been shortlisted for the £400m Farringdon Station main works contract, which will include the construction of the eastern and western running integrated ticket halls. These are Balfour Beatty/Alpine BeMo/Morgan Sindall/Vinci; Costain/Skanska; Laing O’Rourke/Strabag; and BAM Nuttall/Ferrovial Agroman/Kier.

The same four teams have been shortlisted for the £400m Paddington station works.

Meanwhile, Bechtel confirmed it was reducing the number of people it employs on Crossrail.

Construction News revealed last month that Crossrail was merging its role with those of project delivery partner Bechtel and programme partner Transcend. A smaller unit will be formed to oversee the huge rail link scheme.

Two Bechtel health and safety workers will be redeployed from Crossrail to other projects.


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