Crossrail awards tunnelling contracts

Approximately £1.25bn worth of contracts have been awarded for tunnelling work on London’s Crossrail project, a scheme aimed at improving the capital’s rail capacity by 10 per cent.

According to Crossrail, the contracts will deliver the construction of 18km of twin-bore tunnels underneath central London with nearly 21km of twin-bore tunnel constructed for the project.

Tunnelling contracts were awarded for western-running tunnels (from Royal Oak to Farringdon) and eastern-running tunnels (from Limmo Peninsula to Farringdon; Limmo Peninsula to Victoria Dock; and Stepney Green to Pudding Mill Lane).

The western tunnels will be constructed by a joint venture comprising BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) and Kier Construction, while the eastern tunnels will be built by Dragados and John Sisk & Son (Holdings).

Contracts have also been awarded for related access shaft and concrete lining works.

The contracts are the first of nearly 30 contracts that will be awarded by Crossrail over the next 18 months.

To construct the 21km of twin-bore tunnel required for Crossrail, seven tunnel boring machines (TBM) will be used and will undertake 10 individual tunnel drives and construct the 6m-diameter tunnels.

Rail minister Theresa Villiers said: ‘Crossrail is a critical project for this country that has the potential to generate up to £50bn in wider economic benefits for UK GDP and allow the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.

‘Coming fast on the heels of an announcement for around 600 new Crossrail carriages, today is a major milestone in a scheme that will transform journeys across the south east.’

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