Balfour beats Kier to £1.2bn Lower Thames Crossing roads deal
It has been announced that Balfour Beatty has secured a contract worth £1.2bn  to deliver the Roads North of the Thames' package of works for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. This is creating a buzz of excitement in our Civil Space Team who are already hard at work building a suitable talent pool to support this scheme.
Balfour Beatty prevailed against stiff competition from rival firm Kier Eiffage - a partnership between Kier Highways and Eiffage Génie Civil - to deliver this two-stage design and build contract for National Highways. The aim of this project is to deliver over 10 miles of new public highways which will join the M25 at Junction 29 and the A13 with the planned Lower Thames Crossing tunnel at Tilbury in Essex. This project will nearly double the road capacity across the east of London, easing congestion at the Dartford crossing and improving journeys into and out of the Capital for millions of travellers each year.
This project aims to reduce the UK's carbon emissions, boost the local and national economy, create jobs and opportunities for career development and pioneer new and sustainable methods of construction.
As part of the delivery of this ambitious mega-project, Balfour will deliver 49 new structures, which will include a number of bridges and viaducts to connect into existing infrastructure. They have reported that they intend to use modern construction methods, including embracing off site modular designs. These, they say will allow them to significantly reduce their carbon emissions due to the reduced need for truck movements and material deliveries to and from the site.
Balfour will be preparing a Development Consent Order which will be followed by an 18 month period of design, planning and consultation, with work expected to commence in 2024 and to complete by 2030. The Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty, Leo Quinn, remarked that securing this contract was a result of his company's long-standing expertise in complex road constructions, achieved through the previous successful delivery of multiple high profile contracts for National Highways.
This project will require a workforce of circa 2,000 people at its peak, all of whom will be directly employed by Balfour Beatty, and which is planned to include a contingent of 150 trainees, graduates and apprentices. The company is passionate about creating opportunities for those starting out in a career in construction and offering them the chance to gain experience on this groundbreaking project. Likewise, experienced project and construction personnel will no doubt be clamouring to be involved in such a high publicity project.
Balfour Beatty has committed to setting up an "Operator Skills Hub" which will provide training programmes to plant operators and highlight the opportunities available within the construction sector to the next generation of British engineering, manufacturing and construction talent. This scheme is likely to cost in the region of £500M with local businesses and supply chain partners benefiting directly from the funding.
Our Civil Space Team will be fulfilling an important role in this project, securing specialist talent to support Balfour Beatty in every phase of the delivery of this contract, from the earliest planning and consultation phases through to final delivery and quality assurance sign off. We are uniquely positioned to support projects of this magnitude with our wide ranging industry contacts, access to top talent and the ability to deploy appropriately skilled and experienced personnel to support emergency, planned and long-term assignments.
Our talent pool consists of experts with a variety of industry-relevant backgrounds who are available on permanent or temporary contracts to supplement existing teams, lead new divisions or deliver training and shadowing opportunities to enable existing teams to maximise their potential.
If you are an experienced individual looking for your next move and feel that the Lower Thames Crossing project would be a suitable fit for your skills and experience, we would love to hear from you. Similarly, if you are a business that needs additional specialist support to deliver your objectives, both short term and long term, we can help you.
Please contact us today to find out more about our service offerings and our extensive industry experience, and let us help you achieve your aspirations.