Project director Cliff Mumm departs £14.5bn scheme as delivery partner has authority curbed

The high-profile head of Bechtel’s Crossrail operation, Cliff Mumm, will leave the £14.5bn project in a shake-up which will also see the firm’s power to make independent decisions on the project reduced.

The re-organisation, due to be announced later today, has been designed to strip out layers of duplication between Crossrail itself, project delivery partner Bechtel, and programme partner Transcend. The shake-up will see the three brought together to form a single, integrated Crossrail team.

Contractors and consultants working on Crossrail were told this week that Bechtel will no longer be able to independently issue instructions on behalf of the client. The US infrastructure giant has also this week relinquished its job as Construction Design Management co-ordinator of health and safety for the project.

A project source said: “Bechtel is no longer authorised to act on behalf of its employer. All instructions now have to be from Crossrail direct.”

The change will increase speculation, denied by Crossrail, that Bechtel’s role is to be downgraded following the re-organisation. Bechtel was a controversial choice for the job, partly because of a feeling the role, thought to be worth £400m originally, should have gone to a UK firm.

Crossrail’s programme director Andy Mitchell told staff last week that Bechtel’s Mumm has now left the project, having been replaced by former commercial director Ailie MacAdam.

Mumm had helped oversee the letting of the huge tunnelling contracts to three contracting consortiums before Christmas, and as a long-time vice-president at Bechtel, has overseen the Jubilee line extension and relief works in Iraq.

As revealed last week, Crossrail will also outline the winners of another raft of contracts in the next week, following the sign-off of its final formal Treasury review.

A Crossrail spokesman said: “Instructions to contractors and consultants will now be performed by the integrated management team, some of whom will be Bechtel employees, others Crossrail employees.”