Three consortia shortlisted for Britain’s longest road tunnel

Aaron Morby 4 months ago
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Highways England has shortlisted an international line-up of contractors for the £2bn Lower Thames Crossing tunnel drive to connect Essex with Kent.

At 16m diameter the tunnels will be some of the largest bored tunnels in the world
At 16m diameter the tunnels will be some of the largest bored tunnels in the world

Three consortia have been shortlisted for the 4.25 km long twin tunnels, which represent the largest of three works packages for the mega highways project.

Lower Thames Crossing tunnel shortlist

 

  • BFV JV – comprising BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction (UK) and Vinci Construction Grands Projets, supported by Atkins, Tecnica y Proyectos SA and Stantec UK
  • Bouygues Murphy JV- comprising Bouygues Travaux Publics and J Murphy & Sons, supported by Mott McDonald and Ove Arup
  • Dragados-Hochtief JV – comprising Dragados and Hochtief Infrastructure

The Tunnels and Approaches contract includes design and construction of the twin three-lane road tunnels under the River Thames.

At 16m wide, these tunnels will be some of the largest bored tunnels in the world.  They will also be the longest road tunnels in the UK. The scope also includes the portal buildings, approach roads and tunnel systems.

Matt Palmer, Lower Thames Crossing executive director, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project this country has seen since the M25 was completed 35 years ago.

“This contract shows our commitment to this project, which will support 22,000 jobs during its construction and provide a huge economic boost to the UK economy when it opens for traffic.

“It is unparalleled in its ambition, and we need the right partner to match that ambition. We look forward to entering into competitive dialogue with the three shortlisted companies and hope the final bids match our aspirations.”

The successful bidders and their supply chain will help Highways England achieve their ambition of making the Lower Thames Crossing the most environmentally sustainable road project.

This will inlcude planting over 260 hectares of new woodland, converting 400 hectares of arable land into semi-natural habitats, and creating new ponds, waterways, ditches and hedgerows.

They will also be responsible for seven new green bridges that connect habits and species either side of the new road.

Among the other elements of the scheme, the £1.9bn connecting roads contract is currently out for tender and the £162.5m Integration Partner contract was awarded to Jacobs earlier this year.

Highways England plans to resubmit its application for a Development Consent Order later this year.

An application was originally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in October 2020 but was withdrawn in order to provide more information.

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