The decision has been put back until the end of October


Contracts for the HS2 enabling works will now be awarded
in October

Contract awards for three enabling works packages worth £900m on HS2 have been delayed by two months, the client HS2 Ltd has confirmed.

Seven heavyweight contractor joint ventures are waiting on the news after being shortlisted last December, including bids from a Balfour Beatty and Vinci joint venture and a team comprising Laing O’Rourke and Murphy.

A decision on the enabling works winners - across three packages worth £300m each, covering the north, central and southern parts of phase one from London to Birmingham - had been expected this month, but HS2 Ltd confirmed the decision has been put back until the end of October.

A HS2 spokesperson said: “They’re big pieces of work. We need to make sure we get that right.”

News of the delay comes after HS2 Ltd this week unveiled a shortlist of seven teams in the running for two separate key roles worth a combined £520m on the second phase of HS2.

Bechtel, CH2M and a Mace and Turner & Townsend joint venture are the three teams that have been shortlisted for the development partner role, worth £170m.

Meanwhile, four teams are in the running for civils design and environmental services roles, worth £350m.

The first is Aecom, Atkinsand Spain-based Ineco, the second is Arup, the third is an Atkins and Arcadis joint venture, and finally Mott MacDonald with WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The winners will work on the design of the HS2 sections between Crewe and Manchester, and Birmingham and Leeds, via Sheffield and the East Midlands. All the teams will be invited to tender to provide more detailed bids.

Contracts for the roles are expected to be awarded when the government makes a decision on the phase two route this autumn.

The shortlisting comes after a CH2M-led joint venture won the biggest consultancy role on phase one in March, the £350m engineering delivery partner (EDP) role.

Bechtel was also shortlisted for the EDP role in a joint venture with Jacobs and Idom Merebrook.