Highways England has confirmed the appointment of the LTC CASCADE JV, comprising engineering and programme management company CH2M, design and consultancy firm Arcadis and tunnel and bridge specialists COWI, as its technical partner for the next and future phases of the Lower Thames Crossing scheme. Currently the preferred option for the crossing is via a 3.2km long twin bore tunnel linking Tilbury and Gravesham to the east of London.
The initial award under the contract is £3.5M for preparatory work, although it will run for 10 years and could be worth a lot more, up to £200M, depending on the outcome of the consultation.
In the project’s next phase this would include detailed environmental and ground surveys, traffic modelling, economic analysis, planning and design of the preferred route, a full environmental impact assessment, engagement with communities, environmental bodies and local authorities, support to consultation activities and preparing the Development Consent Order (DCO) application.
Awarding this contract will allow swift progress into the next phase subject to the decision taken by Government, and subsequently allow Highways England to provide more clarity to those potentially impacted by a new crossing.
Should the scheme progress to construction the technical partner would provide technical advice and supervision during construction. The technical partner will not be responsible for constructing the scheme.
Chris Taylor, Highways England director of complex infrastructure said: “A new Lower Thames Crossing will unlock massive economic potential for people in Essex, Kent and the whole UK. We need to have a world class team to ensure that the project we end up taking forward will deliver its full potential, and our technical partner will help us do just that. I’m delighted that LTC CASCADE have been appointed to this vital role and I look forward to working with them to deliver this crossing and its legacy for Britain.”