Crossrail has awarded the contract to ship excavated material arising from Crossrail’s construction to Wallasea Island, Essex to create a new RSPB nature reserve. The US$78M Contract, C807 – Marine Transportation has been won by the Joint Venture comprising BAM Nuttall Limited/Van Oord UK Ltd.
This innovative project aims to combat threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating a wetland landscape. It will also help to compensate for the loss of similar tidal habitats elsewhere in England due to rising sea levels. Crossrail will provide around 4.5 million tonnes of excavated material to RSPB generated from the construction of tunnels, shafts and stations.
Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: “With the award of the contract to transport excavated material, Crossrail has now awarded the last remaining major contract that will allow tunnelling to commence in spring 2012.”
Crossrail tunnelling will commence at Royal Oak in March with the first ships containing the excavated material arriving at Wallasea Island during summer 2012. The contractor will be responsible for shipping excavated material from Instone Wharf and Barking Riverside in east London and Northfleet, Kent to Wallasea Island.
Up to five ships a day will transport excavated material down the River Thames to Southend–on-Sea. They will then travel north passing Foulness Island before turning west into the River Crouch to reach Wallasea Island. The transfer of excavated material from London and Kent has been planned with the support and assistance of the Port of London Authority and the Crouch Harbour Authority.
Excavated material generated from the tunnelling operations for the western tunnels (Royal Oak to Farringdon) will exit at the Royal Oak Portal and be transported by freight train to Northfleet, Kent. Excavated materials from the eastern running tunnels will be loaded onto ships directly from the tunnel conveyor surfacing at Instone Wharf on the Bow Creek. Material arising from shafts and stations will be brought by road to Crossrail’s Docklands Transfer Site at the Barking Riverside jetty.
The shortlisted bidders for the C807 Marine Transportation contract were:
- Joint Venture comprising BAM Nuttall Limited / Van Oord UK Ltd;
- Carillion Capital Projects Ltd;
- Joint Venture comprising Cemex UK Operations Ltd / Keltbray Ltd;
- Lagan Construction Ltd;
- Port of Sheerness Ltd; and
- VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd.
Tunnelling for Crossrail will produce in the region of 6 million tonnes of excavated material. The RSPB will require 10 million tonnes of excavated material to create the new 1,500 acre nature reserve – one of the largest new wetland nature reserves of its type in Europe for some 50 years. Crossrail will provide close to 4.5 million tonnes of excavated material to the RSPB.
Wallasea Island is located eight miles north of Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The excavated material will be used to raise existing land levels and also create raised areas within the existing island sea walls. These walls will later be opened up at certain locations to allow tidal water to flow in and out of the island, creating natural wetlands over time. The contractor will also be responsible for creating tidal structures within Wallasea Island to enable water levels to be precisely managed in certain areas.