Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £1.2bn contract by National Highways to deliver the ‘Roads North of the Thames’ package of works for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.
The Lower Thames Crossing will create a new connection under the River Thames to increase capacity and ease congestion in the South of England.
Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the design and delivery of over 10 miles of new highways, connecting the M25 at Junction 29 and the A13 with the Lower Thames Crossing tunnel at Tilbury, Essex.
The firm will also be responsible for the delivery of 49 structures including bridges and major viaducts.
Balfour Beatty says it will build the structures offsite in a controlled factory environment, which it hopes will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the project and align with National Highways’ green ambitions.
Throughout construction, Balfour Beatty will look to spend £500m with local businesses and supply chain partners and will set up an ‘Operator Skills Hub’ to provide innovative training programmes to upskill plant operators and “inspire the next generation of talent in the UK”.
Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is a significant scheme – one that will stimulate local, regional and national economic growth, create employment opportunities and new, sustainable methods of construction for the future of our industry.
“Our deep domain knowledge and long-standing history in complex road construction, acquired through many years of successful delivery on behalf of National Highways, makes us ideally positioned to deliver this project to the highest standard.”
Following an 18-month period of detailed design and pre-construction planning, subject to Development Consent Order, Notice to Proceed from the Department for Transport is expected in 2024.
The full value of the contract will then go into Balfour Beatty’s order book, with main construction scheduled to commence shortly after.
Completion is expected between 2029 and 2030.
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