Funding commitment confirmed for Crossrail
Funding commitment confirmed for Crossrail Jul 2009
Shani Wallis, Editor
In these uncertain economic times, and set amid the political furore over the UK government’s scrapping of this summer’s so called ‘comprehensive spending review’ for the next three years from end of 2011, the question of taxpayer commitment to funding of London’s multi-billion Crossrail project was raised during Prime Minister’s question time in Parliament last week.
In a written response, the Minister of State for Transport, Mr Sadiq Khan MP, said: “The Government remains fully committed to Crossrail. Costs of construction are likely to fall within the agreed budget, based on best current estimates provided by Crossrail Ltd. This is a long-term major infrastructure project, responding to London and the South-East’s transport needs for the next half century and more, and we remain confident it will be delivered on time and on budget and that the project can be funded as planned.”
Set against predictions that deep cuts in public spending are going to be needed by whichever political party might win the next general election in the UK, Minister Khan’s statement went on to reveal the following:
• Total funding amounts provided to Crossrail Ltd by the Department for Transport and Transport for London, the two largest public funding stakeholders, in relation to the construction of Crossrail in the period 22 July 2008 to 30 May 2009 £200.922 million
• Total expenditure incurred by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail in the period 22 July 2008 to 30 May 2009 (excluding recoverable VAT on Land and Property purchases) £196.803 million
Pic 1

Central underground route of Crossrail

At an estimated £15.9 billion, the project was granted Parliamentary approval in July last year and is planned to be complete and in operation by 2017. Currently the core underground section of the project, linking Paddington Station in the west to Liverpool Street Stration and Woolwich Stations in the north and south east, is about half way through its detailed design phase, with major construction contracts scheduled to be awarded next year, and TBM excavation of the 21.5km of running tunnels beneath the heart of London expected to start in 2011.
Pic 2

Pile driving on-going for
Canary Wharf Station

Early construction of the project has started at Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands commercial and financial centre on the Thames to the east of the city. Minister Sadiq Khan made a personal visit to the site this week to see for himself work ongoing to install the diaphragm walls ahead of core excavation of the vast underground station. The station will be constructed below the water in the West India Docks complex. Work is currently on schedule, with 296 steel piles of 18.5m high x 1.2m wide being driven into the dock floor using 10 storey high piling cranes and Giken Piling machines. The Japanese Giken piling machines, designed to minimise noise pollution to surrounding buildings, are expected to have finished their work by October this year. Water will then be pumped out of the piled structure to enable a concrete wall to be built as part of the next stage of construction.
Elsewhere, work by Transport for London is on-going at the site of the future Tottenham Court Road interconnecting station between Crossrail and London Underground. Current work includes demolition of compulsory-purchase properties, including the Astoria Theatre, to make way for this new public transportation hub and upgrading of the existing Underground station access points, ticket hall and concourse levels ahead of extensive excavations for construction of the Crossrail station levels to come. Improvements to the Tube station, which are to completed by 2016, will deliver:
Pic 3

Schematic of Tottenham Court Road station

• An enlarged ticket hall nearly six times the size of the current one;
• New station entrances and additional access points to the Northern and Central line platforms to reduce congestion; and
• Additional escalators and five new lifts to provide step-free access.
The Tottenham Court Road site is also home to the first Visitors’ Centre for the project. Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from midday to 8pm, the centre will introduce local residents, businesses and anyone interested in the redevelopment of Tottenham Court Road Tube station and the Crossrail project in general. As Crossrail construction progresses, further centres will open along the route.
Pic 4

First Crossrail Visitors' Centre

Earlier in June 2009, Crossrail announced award of the next set of detailed design contracts within its Design Framework Agreements as follows:
• C123 - Intermediate Shafts - Jacobs
• C164 - Bulk Power Distribution & HV Power - Scott Wilson
• C175 - Tunnelling Academy Design - Capita Symonds
• C125 - M&E in Tunnels - Mott MacDonald
• C162 - Signalling, traction power OHLE and platform screen doors - Mott MacDonald
These join design contracts already awarded to:
• C150 - Royal Oak Portal - Capita Symonds
• C121 - Sprayed Concrete Lining - Mott MacDonald
• C122 - Bored Tunnels - Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd
• C134 - Tottenham Court Road Station - Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd
• C100 - Architectural Component Design - Atkins
• C152 - Pudding Mill Lane Portal - Scott Wilson
• C124 - Tunnels and Shafts Aerodynamics and Ventilation - Mott MacDonald
• C136 - Farringdon Station Design - Scott Wilson
Dr Graham Plant, Programme Director at Crossrail said: "We have now awarded 13 design contracts and we have just another 11 to go. We will work closely with the successful companies to further the design ready for the start of main works in 2010."
Despite worries about further economic woes going forward, Crossrail says it's business as usual with everything progressing according to plan. The general election in the UK in the coming year may give them cause to entertain a shadow of doubt.
Crossrail partnership awards - TunnelTalk, April 2009


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