UK bidders up against overseas raiders for £2bn contract

Three joint ventures featuring a mixture of UK and overseas bidders have been shortlisted to dig the £2bn tunnels under the river Thames needed for the Lower Thames Crossing scheme.

The job is the largest of three main works packages up for grabs and will involve boring two 4.25 km-long twin tunnels which Highways England said will be the longest in the UK.

lower thames crossing (2)

The road will link Kent with Essex

The tunnels will be 16m wide with the job also including portal buildings, approach roads and tunnel systems.

Bam Nuttall has reprised its joint venture with Spanish firm Ferrovial – the pair are part of a Kier/Eiffage team on HS2 and bidding the Curzon Street station job at Birmingham – while Murphy has linked up with French giant Bouygues. An all-overseas pitch has been made by Spanish firm Dragados and German contractor Hochtief.

Earlier this month, Highways England started the race for two deals worth £1.9bn for approach roads to the new crossing.

The design and build contract for roads on the Kent side of the river is worth £600m, with those for the Essex side valued at £1.3bn.

Lower Thames Crossing tunnel shortlist

BFV JV – comprising BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction (UK) and Vinci Construction Grands Projets, supported by Atkins, Tecnica y Proyectos SA and Stantec UK

Bouygues Murphy JV comprising Bouygues Travaux Publics and J Murphy & Sons, supported by Mott MacDonald and Ove Arup

Dragados-Hochtief JV – comprising Dragados and Hochtief Infrastructure