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US likely to take lead in Crossrail

THE CHIEF executive of Crossrail has admitted US firms will probably take the lead role in managing the £10 billion project.

Work on the scheme to link east and west London with a new tunnel running between Liverpool Street and Paddington is expected to start in the middle of 2007.

Norman Haste, boss of client Cross London Rail Links told Construction News US firms were lobbying hard for the project management role.

Bechtel, Fluor and Parsons Brinckerhoff are all in regular contact with Mr Haste about the work. Balfour Beatty is also hoping to pick up the project management contract.

Mr Haste said: 'US firms have tremendous strength in resources and management systems.There's no doubt it could be done by British firms but we have to make sure these attributes are in place before we would be happy about letting them loose on a project the size of Crossrail.'