US engineer Bechtel has emerged as the firm favourite to win the role of delivery partner on the Crossrail scheme.

It is understood Crossrail is shortly to issue an Official Journal notice for a delivery partner to help manage its £16bn programme.

Sources close to the scheme said a notice would be issued “in the next couple of weeks” for a delivery partner along the lines of 2012 Olympic Games partner CLM, a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, Mace and CH2M Hill.

It is understood that Bechtel is set to win the contract, having so far been development manager for the scheme. The US engineer lost out to CLM in the competition to become delivery partner for the London Olympics.

A source said: “Bechtel wasn’t happy about losing the Olympics, so it feels it is owed Crossrail. A few people in government agree.”

The appointment of a delivery partner would mean construction could begin in earnest, after the Crossrail Bill receives royal assent, which is expected during the summer.

It is unclear whether the tender for a multidisciplinary design consultant would be put out at the same time. Arup, Atkins, Halcrow, Mott MacDonald and Scott Wilson were appointed design consultants in 2006, but the detailed design is being reviewed and the teams may have to re-tender.

A spokesperson for Crossrail could not confirm whether an Official Journal notice would be put out for a delivery partner.