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Lower Thames Crossing | Five bidders shortlisted for £1.9bn road building jobs

National Highways has announced the companies shortlisted for the road building contracts either side of the Lower Thames Crossing.

Worth £1.9bn, the two contracts cover the design and build of the connecting roads on the north and south side of the River Thames. Four bidders are in the running for the Kent Roads package, while two bidders will battle it out for the package of work north of the Thames - a joint venture between Kier and Eiffage is the only bidder in the running for both contracts.

The shortlist include:

Kent Roads (Lot 1)

  • BFV JV; comprising of Bam Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Construction (UK) Ltd and Vinci Construction Grands Projets

  • Costain Limited

  • Kier Eiffage JV; comprising of Kier Highways Limited and Eiffage Génie Civil

  • Skanska Construction UK Limited

Roads North of the Thames (Lot 2)

  • Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd

  • Kier Eiffage JV; comprising of Kier Highways Limited and Eiffage Génie Civil

The Kent roads contract is worth £600M and is a two-stage design and build contract for the part of the route from the A2/M2 corridor to 1km south of the southern tunnel entrance, with strategic utilities and environmental interfaces.

Meanwhile the £1.3bn Roads North of the Thames contract, is also a two-stage design and build contract delivering the route from 1km north of the northern tunnel entrance to Junction 29 of the M25. New link roads are required to connect the route with the M25, A13 and A1089.

Lower Thames Crossing Executive Director Matt Palmer said: “Our roads connect us – we rely on them, and they are a critical part of our economic recovery and low-carbon future.

“The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project this country has seen since the M25 was completed 35 years ago. These contracts show our commitment to this project, which will support 22,000 jobs during its construction and provide a huge economic boost to the UK economy when it opens for traffic.

“Our challenge is to build a new crossing that not only supports the next generation of low carbon vehicles but also allows us to enhance the natural environment and leave a positive legacy for generations to come. We look forward to this next stage of the procurement process with the five shortlisted companies and hope the final bids match our aspirations.”

National Highways unveiled changes to its planning application in June. Changes have been made in regard to traffic management, air quality control, noise and vibration, as well as the impact of the new crossing on the environment and landscape.

They have been added to the project’s development consent order application after National Highways was forced to pull its original plans following feedback from the Planning Inspectorate in November last year.

National Highways plans to submit a new application later this year to restart the consent process. If given the green light, construction is still expected to start in 2024 and take around six years, leading to a revised road opening date between 2029 and 2030.

Despite the setback to the planning application, National Highways has continued its procurement for the project.

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