Highways England has said that it plans to publish tender documents for the enabling works and roads and tunnels packages for the Lower Thames Crossing at the end of March.
Timings for the project were revealed as Highways England started the process of engaging with archaeological, enabling works, information technology providers, as well as tunnelling and road building contractors for its planned tunnel project.
The document estimates the value of the work on the project at £5.3bn to £6.8bn, making it the largest project in Highways England’s Road Investment Programme and at 4km it will also create the UK’s longest road tunnel too. Highways England has said that the work represents a major opportunity for the construction sector.
According to the documents published in the Official Journal of the European Union, this process supersedes previous engagement processes started last year.
Highways England has said that it is issuing the prior information notice in order to get market feedback about its plans. It said: “At this stage we are primarily considering supplier feedback on the Lower Thames Crossing roads, tunnels, early works delivery manager, archaeology and information technology services procurements.”
Highways England has indicated that packages of work set to be put out for tender via the Bravo system will include design consultancy, construction, archaeology, early and enabling works, logistics including road and river transportation of materials and disposal, protection and mitigation works to third-party infrastructure, provision of tunnel boring machines, materials and equipment supply; and other specialist works/services related to roads/tunnels construction activities.
Highways England has highlighted that collaboration will be key to successful bidding on the project and is planning to hold further supplier engagement events to provide an overview of Lower Thames Crossing opportunities available to the market in the forthcoming year.