Final Lower Thames Crossing approval awaited

Work in the UK includes a twin bore tunnel under the River Thames east of London.
November 7, 2022 1 minute Read
By David Arminas
The twin bore tunnel east of London will run from county Essex under the River Thames to country Kent, south of the Thames (artist impression courtesy National Highways)

The UK’s National Highways agency has resubmitted its proposal for the €9.56 billion Lower Thames Crossing road project that includes a tunnel under the river.

An initial proposal was submitted in 2020 after public consultations but the government’s Planning Inspectorate said the application lacked essential detail. An application was finally submitted on 31 October.

National Highways – until last year called Highways England - is the wholly government-owned company responsible for modernising, maintaining and operating England’s motorways and major A roads.

Three bidders have been shortlisted to construct the 4.3km tunnel section of the overall project; BFV Joint Venture, Bouygues Murphy Joint Venture and Dragados-Hochtief Joint Venture.

Work includes a twin bore tunnel under the River Thames to the east of Tilbury and Gravesend as well as just over 23km of new road linking the tunnel to the M25 and A13 to the north and the M2/A2 to the south. It will be the longest road tunnel in the UK and its 16m width will make it the widest in Europe.

The BFV Joint Venture involves Bam Nuttall, Ferrovial and VINCI along with supported by Atkins, Tecnica y Proyectos (TYPSA) and Stantec. The Bouygues Murphy Joint Venture includes Mott McDonald and Ove Arup & Partners.

Meanwhile, bidders for the road works in the county of Kent – south of the tunnel – are BFV JV, Costain, Kier Eiffage JV and Skanska Construction UK.

To build roads for the crossing north of the tunnel in the county of Essex the bidders are Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering and the Kier Eiffage JV.

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