The contract was awarded to Keller and VSL (KVJV) by Align, a joint venture of Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick.
VSL is a Bouygues company that specialises in post-tensioned concrete. Keller is a foundations and geotechnics specialist. At peak, they will have 270 people on site working on diaphragm walls, grouting and piling.
Align is building the C1 section of the new high speed line between the Colne Valley and the Chilterns. This 21.6km section includes a 3.4km viaduct and twin-bore 16km tunnels under the Chilterns.
KVJV’s scope of work is to construct the piled foundations for the viaducts, grouting works, retaining structures for four ventilation shafts, and ground improvement works for the execution of the tunnel cross passages.
It has already completed site investigations and pile testing and are now working on advance works for the south portal of the tunnel that will be the entry point for the tunnel boring machines, and the first diaphragm wall for one of the ventilation shafts.
Keller president Jim De Waele said: “The KV joint venture is a continuation of our successful partnership on the Melbourne Metro Project in Australia. We’re excited to bring our complimentary geotechnical capabilities, experience and capacity on one of the most demanding and exciting transport projects in Europe.”
Peter Hughes, managing director of VSL Systems (UK), added: “We are looking forward to moving into the main works on this project. This award is the culmination of a collaborative approach adopted by HS2, Align, KVJV and other stakeholders, to develop the best possible solution for the project and we are excited to be involved.”