Crossrail contract awarded tally climbs Apr 2011
Patrick Reynolds, Freelance Reporter
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- All major tunnel packages are now let for London's Crossrail project. At the same time, the project control organisation has been restructured to cut out duplication, avoid gaps and place greater risk with the partners to deliver to time and budget.
Crossrail alignment beneath central London and under the Thames at Woolwich
- As predicted, Hochtief/Murphy JV has taken the C310 Thames Tunnel for an award price of about £190 million (US$310 million). Thames Tunnel is a 2.6km stretch of twin tube, soft ground TBM tunnelling to take the alignment under the Thames in south east London between North Woolwich and Plumstead.
- C350 Pudding Mill Lane Portal is to be constructed by Morgan Sindall that defeated three rivals for the £50 million contract while Vinci Construction UK is awarded the £35 million C315 contract to refurbish the 550m long disused Connaught Tunnel near London City Airport.
- Later this month it is expected that the TBM manufacturers chosen by the winning contractors will be announced. Seven TBMs have been anticipated – six EPBMs and a slurry machine – to build the 6.8m o.d. running tunnel.
- As the construction phase takes-off, Crossrail has restructured its control organisation for the scheme with the Project Delivery Partner, Crossrail Central, a team of Bechtel, Halcrow and Systra; and the Programme Partner, Transcend, a JV of Aecom and CH2M Hill with Nicholls Group. A new integrated structure was put into place this week to tighten management and delivery. In a statement, Crossrail said: "Both Bechtel and Transcend will continue to play leading roles in the delivery of Crossrail." TunnelTalk was told that the new structure will help eliminate duplication in activities such as health and safety, financial control, and planning functions between the parties. For example, a single health and safety team has been created of staff from the Bechtel group and the core Crossrail unit.
- In addition, effectively more risk for ensuring performance outcomes in terms of programme and budget is being placed with the partners, which has been agreed under the terms of their contracts. Further details were not immediately available.
- Crossrail continues to process to replace Rob Holden as Chief Executive who will work with Andy Mitchell as Programme Director, David Allen as Finance Director and Martin Buck as Commercial Director. Under Andy Mitchell are a number of reportees, including Ailie MacAdam, the Central Section Delivery Director; Chris Sexton, Technical Director; and, Steve Elliott, Programme Control Director. Four area directors will report in to MacAdam – Keith Sibley (West area), Bill Tucker (Central), Jeff Clegg (East) and Alan Walker (Central Project-wide Construction).
- Details of the change in the relative size of the control organisation were not immediately available, though Crossrail's own core team stays steady at about 275 people.
The main tunnels for the massive railway project beneath London city will have five portals. In addition to Pudding Mill Lane there are two included in the Thames Tunnel package (North Woolwich and Plumstead) and construction is already underway at Royal Oak in west London, from where the first TBMs will be launched on the project, in the second quarter of 2012. The final portal at Victoria Dock is to be awarded later this year.
- All TBM bores are to be completed by the third quarter of 2014 with rail services in the central section commencing in late 2018 – a shift back from the original plan looking for a beginning in 2017. The re-programming came as part of a review and alteration of the construction schedule to improve efficiency and reduce costs from the original £15.9 billion (US$25.9 billion) down to approximately £14.5 billion (US$23.6 billion). Changes that have been identified so far bring the budget down by approximately £1 billion (US$1.6 billion).
- Estimates of the economic benefit to come from the east-west rail scheme have been increased by approximately 16% from £36 billion (US$58.7 billion) to £42 billion (US$68.5 billion).
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