Highways England: Lower Thames consultation

Earlier this year, Highways England announced that the three joint ventures, BFV, Bouygues Murphy and Dragados-Hochtief will be invited to enter into a competitive dialogue.
Finance & Funding / July 14, 2021 1 minute Read
By David Arminas
Around 23km of new road will connect the longest road tunnel in the UK to the country’s strategic road network (image courtesy Highways England)

Highways England has started another round of consultations for the proposed €6.9 billion (US$8.3 billion / £6 billion) Lower Thames Crossing project east of London.

The eight-week consultation ends 8 September. Highways England said that after reviewing the consultation, it will submit a new application for a development consent order later this year. “This will start the 18-month consent process. If given the green light, construction is expected to start in 2024 and take around six years, leading to a revised road opening date between 2029 and 2030,” according to a statement on the official website of the project.

The previous application for a development consent order submitted in October 2020 was withdrawn. The new consultation includes a reduction in the area needed to build and operate the scheme, a smaller impact on woodland and local properties and new public spaces on both sides of the River Thames.

The tunnel bore will house two 4km tunnels - one for southbound traffic, one for northbound traffic - beneath the River Thames. The bore will be 16.4m in diameter – the third widest bored tunnel in the world.

Earlier this year, Highways England announced that three joint venture companies have been shortlisted for the UK’s largest single contract. The BFV JV, the Bouygues Murphy JV and  the Dragados-Hochtief JV will be invited to enter into a competitive dialogue with Highways England, the next stage in the contract tender process.

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