A joint venture between CH2M and Arcadis has been appointed as Highways England’s technical partner for its £5bn Lower Thames Crossing project.
The roads agency has appointed the LTC Cascade consortium, which also includes Danish tunnel and bridge specialists Cowi, to the contract, which could be worth up to £200m.
The initial £3.5m deal will see the team help Highways England with its planning application as it tries to secure a development consent order for the crossing linking Kent to Essex.
If the crossing goes ahead, Highways England expects the value of the contract could rise to between £100m and £200m over the expected nine-year life of the project.
Subject to the development consent order being granted this year, Highways England expects construction to start on the crossing by 2021, with the crossing operational by 2025.
The crossing will run from Gravesham on the south side of the river to Tilbury on the north and will be the first to be built across the Thames since Dartford’s Queen Elizabeth II bridge was completed in 1991.
In January, Highways England launched a consultation for the new crossing, which ended on 24 March.
Responses are now being incorporated into the organisation’s recommendations to government, with a decision expected by the Planning Inspectorate later this year.
Highways England director of complex infrastructure Chris Taylor said: “A new Lower Thames Crossing will unlock massive economic potential for people in Essex, Kent and the whole UK.
“We need to have a world-class team to ensure the project we end up taking forward will deliver its full potential, and our technical partner will help us do just that.
“LTC Cascade have been appointed to this vital role and I look forward to working with them to deliver this crossing and its legacy for Britain.”