Balfour beats Kier to £1.2bn Lower Thames Crossing roads deal

Aaron Morby 7 days ago
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Balfour Beatty has scooped the £1.2bn contract to deliver the Roads North of the Thames’ package of works for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.

The firm will be responsible for the design and delivery of over 10 miles of new highways, connecting the M25 at Junction 29 and the A13 with the proposed Lower Thames Crossing tunnel at Tilbury, Essex.

Computer generated image of Lower Thames Crossing A13 junction

It beat rival bidder Kier Eiffage – Kier Highways and Eiffage Génie Civil – to take the two-stage design and build contract delivering the route from 1km north of the northern tunnel entrance to Junction 29 of the M25.

At construction peak, Balfour Beatty will directly employ a workforce of 2,000, including around 150 apprenticeship, graduate and trainee positions.

The major project will see Balfour deliver 49 structures including bridges and major viaducts.

Balfour Beatty will utilise modular construction techniques to build the structures offsite in a controlled factory environment, significantly reducing carbon emissions by minimising the number of lorry movements and material deliveries to and from site.

Throughout construction, Balfour Beatty will look to spend £500m with local businesses and supply chain partners and will set up an ‘Operator Skills Hub’ to provide innovative training programmes to upskill plant operators and inspire the next generation of talent in the UK.

Leo Quinn, group chief executive of Balfour Beatty, said: “Our deep domain knowledge and long-standing history in complex road construction, acquired through many years of successful delivery on behalf of National Highways, makes us ideally positioned to deliver this project to the highest standard.”

Subject to Development Consent Order and following an 18-month period of detailed design and pre-construction planning, notice to proceed on the mega project is expected in 2024.

The full value of the contract will then go into Balfour Beatty’s order book, with main construction scheduled to commence shortly after. Completion is expected between 2029 and 2030.

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