Crossrail has announced the shortlists for two major tunnel contracts on the £16bn civil engineering project.
Seven construction teams will proceed to the next stage of the procurement process for the refurbishment of the Connaught Tunnel, on the Abbey Wood branch, and the construction of the Pudding Mill Lane Tunnel Portal.
For Contract 315, the Connaught Tunnel, Crossrail has shortlisted:
- Vinci Construction;
- Hochtief-Murphy Joint Venture;
- BAM Nuttall; and
- VolkerFitzpatrick Barhale Joint Venture.
For Contract 350, the Pudding Mill Lane Tunnel Portal, the following teams have made the cut:
- Vinci Construction;
- Carillion Construction;
- Dragados-Sisk Joint Venture;
- Morgan Sindall.
The Invitation to Tender for both contracts will be issued next month. Crossrail intends to award the contracts in 2011.
To deliver the Crossrail branch to Abbey Wood, a major proportion of the construction work involves reusing disused rail infrastructure including the Connaught Tunnel on the former North London Line branch to North Woolwich, and disused National Rail tracks to Custom House. Both closed to passenger traffic in December 2006.
The Connaught Tunnel is around 550 metres long and runs between Royal Victoria Dock and Royal Albert Dock close to London City Airport. The tunnel dates back to 1850.
The existing tunnel will be enlarged so that it can accommodate Crossrail trains and overhead line equipment. Sections of the existing tunnel are in a poor structural condition. Around 100 metres of tunnel wall will be removed and will be replaced with a new tunnel lining. The existing brick arches, part of the tunnel approaches, will be retained and repaired.
At Pudding Mill Lane, the eastern portal for the main Crossrail tunnels will be constructed. The other tunnel portal will be located at Royal Oak near Paddington, where preparatory work got underway in January 2010.
Crossrail added that it is making “good progress” with the procurement of the three main running tunnel contracts.
Tenders have been received for Contract C300 (Royal Oak to Farringdon) and C305 (Limmo to Farringdon), and are currently being evaluated. Bids for C310 (Plumstead to North Woolwich) are due to be received this month.
Tenders for the four station tunnel contracts at Bond Street, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Whitechapel will all have been submitted by the end of September.
Crossrail expects tunnelling activity to get underway in 2011.
Andy Mitchell, programme director, Crossrail said: "Bids for the two main Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) contracts have been received and contain some interesting ideas that could deliver increased value for money.
"It is critical that every pound invested in this vital project achieves maximum value for money. Our message to the construction and design industry over recent months has been clear; sensible efficiency savings will be made at every opportunity and we are determined to deliver Crossrail well within the current funding budget of £15.9bn.
“Value for money needs to be at the heart of every Crossrail bid submission."
The first tunnel boring machines will head eastwards from Royal Oak in just over a year, followed shortly by the launch of further tunnel boring machines in Docklands that will head towards Farringdon.