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Laing O'Rourke/Atkins JV in 'Dream team' Crossrail bid

Laing O’Rourke is working with Atkins as part of a joint bid for a key Crossrail contract.

The bid, to oversee work on the central tunnelling deal and associated contracts, is understood to have been presented to Crossrail earlier this week, alongside four other bidders.

Until now, Crossrail had disclosed only that “Laing O’Rourke Holdings” was bidding for the deal, but Construction News understands the bid is a joint project.

Insiders at Laing O’Rourke have dubbed the combination a “dream team”, combining the largest privately owned construction firm in the UK and, in Atkins, the largest engineering consultancy in the UK.

The duo are pitching themselves as an “all-British bid” in comparison to some of the other tenders for the project.

The other bidders for the “project delivery partner” role are Legacy 3, a joint venture between Parsons Brinckerhoff and Balfour Beatty Management; Bechtel; Flare – a joint venture between Fluor, Ove Arup
& Partners and EC Harris; and a joint venture between Capita Symonds and NNN.

The work on Crossrail has been split into three parts. A programme partner will oversee the whole project, with the project delivery partner sitting beneath them.

The project delivery partner will oversee contracts to deliver individual parts of the central London section, whether it be stations or the tunnel itself.

“It is not envisaged that the project partner(s) will undertake engineering design or construction,” a Crossrail spokesman said.

With presentations taking place on Monday and Tuesday of this week, the shortlist is expected to be whittled down to two in the New Year. Second phase tenders will be developed in January and a final decision is expected to be unveiled by March 2009.

The programme delivery tenders are already at the second phase, with a winner also due to be announced in the New Year.

Crossrail declined to comment on how much the project delivery partner role would be worth, but it is expected to run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

The oversight roles are thought to be similar to the contract handed to the CLM consortium for the Olympic project. CLM, comprising CH2M Hill, Laing O’Rourke and Mace, are overseeing the individual projects ensuring that everything is completed on schedule.

A spokesman for Atkins declined to comment on the specifics of the deal, saying only: “I can confirm we are pushing ahead for the bid for project delivery partner with Laing O’Rourke.”