AECOM is delivering the next stage of UK Highways England’s Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) ground investigation program after being appointed for the third phase of the ground investigation contract on the project. LTC includes 4km of twin-tube tunnel, to be constructed by two 16m+ diameter TBMs.
The ground investigations will provide key information to help increase certainty around cost and delivery on this nationally significant infrastructure project. The data collected on ground and groundwater conditions will support the wider delivery team in identifying, managing and mitigating ground risk.
The appointment of AECOM, operating under Perfect Circle’s unique collaboration, by Highways England to the early phases of this major road scheme has been procured via Scape Group’s National Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework.
“We are excited to continue building on our partnership with Highways England and its important work to support economic growth through dependable, durable and safe major roads,” said Lara Poloni, AECOM Europe, Middle East & Africa’s chief executive. “Following several years of successfully delivering earlier phases of this key project, this appointment demonstrates Highways England’s confidence in our ability to deliver this important next phase.”
This latest contract, for Phase 3 of the ground investigations, has now started on site. AECOM, working with the Highways England Project Team, implemented industry leading health and safety provisions at more than 550 locations in Kent and Essex to protect staff, industry colleagues and the public during the coronavirus pandemic. AECOM has been working on the project since 2017 and this latest contract award continues the collaborative working partnership with Highways England, the project team and the Perfect Circle supply chain.
The innovative approach to the project sees AECOM in the role of technically proficient management contractor, ensuring everyone working on the ground investigations is aligned and coordinated and the data captured is consistent for a project of this scale and complexity.
The 22.8km (14.3-mile) route of the planned Lower Thames Crossing is one of the government’s top projects in its National Infrastructure Plan. It is expected to increase connectivity across the Thames Estuary, reduce congestion and improve journeys increasing road capacity, and boost the economy of the region and beyond.
“Ground investigations are crucial in helping mitigate potential construction problems down the line and ensuring that all the engineering needed to build the tunnel and associated roads is as best planned as possible,” said Patrick Cox, AECOM’s lead for the LTC Ground Investigations programme. “The data we are collecting on this complex but critical infrastructure project will form the backbone of the scheme’s design and ultimately help ensure it delivers value for Highways England’s customers. We are delivering this work in difficult circumstances, but the safety of everyone involved is our priority.”
“We are delighted to be involved in the Lower Thames Crossing scheme, which will improve transport connections across the country, while also boosting the economy through the creation of new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities – providing an excellent contribution to social value,” said Victoria Brambini, managing director of Perfect Circle.
Perfect Circle includes collaboration between Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM – leading, innovative firms with extensive industry knowledge and expertise, supported by a diverse local supply chain.
“The range of skills of the team at AECOM is reflective of the strength that sits within the Perfect Circle joint venture,” said Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive. “Combining this talent with the accelerated delivery that is made possible through our Built Environment Consultancy Services framework will help ensure that this key infrastructure project is successfully delivered and supports our economic recovery.”