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1.2 billion Pounds for Lower Thames Crossing Contract

Lower Thames Crossing Project

As part of the Lower Thames Crossing project to connect Kent and Essex, Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £1.2 billion contract by National Highways.

In addition to the 16km of new roads, 49 structures, including four green bridges and viaducts, intersections with the A13 and M25, 40km of paths, and new parks and woodlands will be built under the Roads North of the Thames contract.

As part of the project, the M25 at Junction 29 and the A13 will be connected to the Lower Thames Crossing tunnel at Tilbury, Essex.

Balfour Beatty won the contract over a joint venture between Kier and Eiffage.

Leo Quinn, chief executive of Balfour Beatty, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is a significant project that will stimulate local, regional, and national economic growth, generate employment opportunities, and contribute to the development of new, sustainable construction methods.

Having obtained many years of successful delivery on behalf of National Highways, we have an in-depth knowledge of road construction and a long-standing history in complex road construction. As a result, we are ideally suited to meet the needs of this project.”

Lower Thames Crossing will relieve traffic congestion at the Dartford Crossing by linking Kent and Essex.

Development consent orders (DCOs) for the LTC were submitted in early November 2022, two years after the initial application was withdrawn after the Planning Inspectorate requested additional information regarding construction plans and environmental mitigation measures. There has been an acceptance of the DCO application by the Planning Inspectorate for examination by them now.

A carbon neutral construction “pathfinder” project has been designated by National Highways for the Lower Thames Crossing. As a result, all procurements for the project will be focused on low carbon construction methods, as well as incentives that will encourage further continuous carbon reductions. The objective is to set a benchmark for carbon neutral construction and to help the UK reach net zero emissions by 2050.

There is no doubt that Balfour Beatty will bring to this project the best of UK construction, according to Lower Thames Crossing procurement director Kathatina Ferguson. As a company, we are committed to reducing carbon emissions in construction and maximising the benefits to local communities.

A cost estimate of £8.2 billion to £9 billion is estimated for the Lower Thames Crossing, which is National Highways’ most expensive project. According to the National Audit Office, it is one of eight schemes that National Highways is monitoring due to concerns regarding value for money.

Two other major contracts are expected to be awarded this year as part of the project. A shortlist of candidates for the project’s £2 billion tunneling contract was announced in April 2021. There are three joint ventures involved in the project: the BFV Joint Venture between Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction, and Vinci; the Bouygues Travaux Publics and J Murphy & Sons joint ventures, supported by Mott MacDonald and Ove Arup and Partners joint venture; and the Dragados and Hochtief Infrastructure joint venture.

A £600 million Kent Roads package will include six kilometers of new roads, a junction with the A2, three green bridges, 20 kilometers of pathways, and a new park near Gravesend. Shortlisted bidders include a joint venture between Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and Vinci; Costain; and a joint venture between Kier and Eiffage.

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