TRANSPORT for London is advertising in the Official Journal for a consultant to advise it on the £425 million Thames Gateway Bridge project.
The winning bidder will act as technical adviser to the authority for a three-year period to take the scheme through planning to the appointment of a concessionaire team for the Private Finance Initiative deal.
In May, London Mayor Ken Livingstone released outline plans for the new East London crossing. It will span 650 m connecting Beckton on the north side of the river with Thamesmead at Gallions Reach in the south.
At the end of July the authority submitted a planning application to Greenwich and Newham councils and applied for special powers to build the bridge to the Government, the Port of London Authority and City Airport. A decision is expected to be made in November and a public inquiry could start as early as January 2005 A public consultation on four outline designs by architect Marks Barfield and consultant Halcrow ended in August.
The bridge needs to rise to around 50 m above the river to allow ships to pass underneath it and the deck will include a bus lane and two traffic lanes in each direction.
In January the Government announced it had set aside £200 million in PFI credits to part fund the scheme The rest of the contract cost will be met by toll revenues and TfL will meet development and land purchase costs. Construction is due to start no earlier than 2008 and the bridge will open in 2012.