The green light came on for HS2 this week with the formal signing of the first major contracts.
The contracts to deliver the tunnels, bridges and earthworks will be the first phase of the new high speed railway from London to Birmingham.
Due to be delivered in 2026, HS2 will be the biggest investment in transport infrastructure since the building of the motorways, the project will support 16,000 jobs across the UK-wide supply chain.
The contractors will work collaboratively with HS2 Ltd over the first 16 months, working on the detailed design before construction begins around 2018/19. While preparatory work has already begun, seeing geological investigations across the route and ecological and archaeological work due to begin soon.
The first section of the route will be developed by SCS JV, made up of Skanska, Costain and STRABAG, seeing the construction of a tunnel between Euston and Old Oak Common and onwards to Northolt.
The next stage will be undertaken by Align JV, a team made up of Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick and Sir Robert McAlpine, which includes the Colne Valley Viaduct and Chilterns Tunnel.
Carillion, Eiffage and Kier (CEK JV), will undertake the largely rural stages between the Chilterns Tunnel and Long Itchington.
And the route will be completed by a team from Balfour Beatty and VINCI, taking the line north past Birmingham Airport and into the new Curzon Street station in the centre of Birmingham, as well as onward to a connection with the existing West Coast Mainline at Handsacre.
High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd Chief Executive, Mark Thurston, was joined by representatives from SCS JV, Align JV, CEK JV and Balfour Beatty VINCI, in a signing ceremony at the company’s Birmingham head office.
Mr Thurston welcomed the milestone, saying: “HS2 is more than just a railway. The contracts we sign today will provide much needed extra capacity and connectivity between our major cities, but it will also unlock huge opportunities for new jobs, homes and economic development and start to rebalance our economy.
“We are determined to deliver the project to new levels of safety and efficiency, with respect for communities, protection for the environment and value for money at the core of everything we do. The contracts we signed today will support 16,000 jobs and generate thousands of contract opportunities within the wider supply chain, spreading the benefits of this investment across the whole country."
Peter Jones, Executive Director and SCS JV board member said: “We are delighted to have been awarded these major contracts by HS2 which follow on from the South Enabling Works Contract awarded last year.
“The awards are further testimony to the SCS collaborative approach and our strong track record in applying technology-based innovative solutions in the delivery of large-scale projects.”
Jérôme Furgé, Align Project Director said: “I have worked on many major projects around the world, and find it a special privilege to be working on HS2. This project will require a unique level of collaboration between all of us and the highest industry standards, expected by HS2, will be implemented in order to obtain the very best outcome. My Align colleagues and I are delighted to be part of the challenge to deliver a world-class asset to the UK.”
Welcoming the contract award, Sean Jeffery, Executive Director and Chairman of CEK JV Board said: “We are delighted to have been selected to help deliver this major infrastructure project and look forward to working in partnership with HS2. Our involvement in this project will enable us to create many new jobs and training opportunities as well as working with a diverse range of supply chain businesses from across the UK.”
Welcoming the contract award, Mark Cutler, Balfour Beatty VINCI HS2 Managing Director, said: “I am proud that our long-standing joint venture has been chosen to deliver these two important and complex sections of HS2.
“This iconic rail infrastructure project will create significant opportunities for the UK construction industry and enable long term benefits in skills, jobs and regional prosperity. We look forward to building on our successful track record of major infrastructure projects, and playing our part in the delivery of HS2.”
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