The competitive dialogue approach has been adopted because of the highly complex nature of the tunnel project, including raising the bar as a carbon pathfinder project.
Key elements of the 4.2km tunnel and approach road contracts involve agreeing on an ambitious low-carbon baseline, while also incentivising an ongoing reduction of carbon throughout the project life cycle.
National Highways hopes the dialogue will deliver solutions that meet the challenge of delivering carbon neutral construction.
- BFV JV; comprising BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Construction (UK) and Vinci Construction Grands Projets
- Bouygues Murphy Joint Venture (BMJV)
- Dragados-Hochtief Joint Venture (DH JV)
In addition, the contracts will have a significant focus on the use of local suppliers and SMEs.
Sinisa Galac, Project Director Tunnels, Lower Thames Crossing said: “We’re looking forward to working with the construction industry to realise our low carbon ambitions and establish new and innovative solutions and construction methods as we embrace the challenge together.”
The process will allow dialogue between National Highways and the bidders, and is designed to be collaborative in its approach, she added.
The proposed Lower Thames Crossing includes the tunnel and 23kms of new road that would almost double road capacity across the River Thames east of London.
The scheme’s three main works contracts; Kent Roads, Roads North of the Thames and Tunnels and Approaches are designed to maximise the environmental and social value outcomes for the local community.
The procurement of the three main works contracts is continuing in parallel to the development consent process with the contract awards expected by Summer 2023.
The streamlined procurement process is designed to enable contractors to commence the mobilisation and design works early.
It will also help with development of a local supply chain and developing low-carbon solutions as part of the optimised contractor involvement.
National Highways plans to submit an application for a Development Consent Order for the new crossing later this year, once it has completed consultations in June.