NuGen Properties

Bouygues Murphy JV lands Lower Thames tunnel

CGI of the planned Lower Thames Crossing

The contract to bore the tunnels of the £9bn Lower Thames Crossing is the final major award to be made for the Kent-Essex road link.

This contract also includes the tunnel systems, portal buildings and approach roads.  

Bouygues Murphy Joint Venture (BMJV) joins Balfour Beatty who will build the roads north of the Thames under a £1.2bn contract, and Skanska who will build the roads in Kent for £450m.

BMJV is a joint venture comprising Bouygues Travaux Publics SAS and J Murphy & Sons, supported by consulting engineersMott McDonald and Ove Arup &Partners.

This all assumes the project will go ahead at all, given the opposition to the scheme and the government’s enthusiasm for axing major infrastructure projects.

However, National Highways says that bringing the main contractors on board at an early stage, combined with the additional planning time gained by rephasing the project’s construction period earlier this year, means that it can more effectively manage risk and cost. 

Matt Palmer, Lower Thames Crossing executive director, said: “This contract award completes a world class team that has carbon reduction, community and value at its heart. By bringing the team together at an early stage we can focus on driving out carbon, delivering the best possible value for money and maximising the huge benefits the project will deliver nationally, regionally and locally.

“Bouygues Travaux Publics – Murphy JV and all of our delivery partners are fully bought into our passion for delivering a green-skills legacy and share our ambition to use the Lower Thames Crossing as a catalyst to change the whole construction industry’s attitude and approach to carbon reduction.”

The Tunnels and Approaches contract includes the design and construction of twin road tunnels under the river Thames, which at 2.6 miles will be the longest in the UK. At more than 16 metres wide they will be one of the widest in Europe to enable three lanes of traffic.

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