HS2 provides firms with ‘Notice to Proceed’ on work amid pandemic

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Notice to proceed,

Eiffage, Balfour Beatty, VINCI, Kier, Ferrovial Agroman and BAM Nuttall have received notification from High Speed 2 (HS2) to proceed with works in line with Government advice

The joint venture, Balfour Beatty VINCI, today (15 April) announces they have received Notice to Proceed from High Speed 2 (HS2) to proceed with its two main contracts, worth a combined total of c. £5bn.

Balfour Beatty contract

The scope of works comprises extensive earthworks, ground engineering, viaducts and tunnels along a 90 kilometre stretch between the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel in the south to the West Coast Main Line tie-in near Litchfield in the north with a major junction into central Birmingham at Curzon Street.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s group chief executive, said: “HS2 is a transformational infrastructure scheme, underpinning both the economic resilience and future growth of the nation, during these unprecedented and challenging times.

“Notice to Proceed provides certainty for many businesses up and down the UK, and will drive investment in skills and capability for current and future generations.”

Notice to Proceed

This is a major milestone in Britain’s largest regeneration project which will create thousands of employment opportunities, dramatically increase rail capacity and support the economic growth of the UK.

Preparatory works are due to start imminently with main construction to commence in earnest in the second quarter of 2021.

Social distancing

All sites will be fully compliant with UK Government guidance for safe working practices in relation to social distancing.

At construction peak, a workforce of over 8,000 will be involved in delivering the scheme, many of whom will be locally employed.

Eiffage Kier contract

The Notice to Proceed now allows the Eiffage Kier joint venture to commence the full detailed design and construction of 80km of Phase 1 of the HS2 railway (the route from London – Birmingham).

Throughout construction of the project, the partners will deliver Lots C2 and C3 of the HS2 high-speed railway. This 80km section runs between the Chilterns to Warwickshire and includes 15 viaducts, 5km of green tunnels, 22km of road diversions, 67 overbridges and 30 million cubic metres of excavation.

The total value of the section, including the design and development work already completed is £2,269m.

The site has also been used to develop a platform that ties together data from a multitude of independent systems to present integrated, real-time reporting and insights, which will significantly reduce cost, environmental impact and improve the productivity and safety of operations.

Andrew Davies, CEO at Kier, said: “We are pleased that the government has confirmed NTP for the HS2 project, allowing us to progress onto the next phase of works in delivering this vital infrastructure project.

“We have been successfully delivering the design and development phase since 2017 and working with our new partners BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman alongside Eiffage we will collectively bring invaluable knowledge and expertise throughout delivery to play our part in the most sustainable high-speed railway of its kind.”

Benoît de Ruffray, chairman and CEO of Eiffage: “Eiffage and its partners welcome the UK Government announcement for the new high-speed line HS2. We are very proud to contribute to this project which has become possible thanks to the collaborative approach set by HS2 Ltd since 2017.

“Whatever difficulties countries are currently facing, we stay confident in the fact that we will overcome the crisis and successfully deliver this ambitious project.”

Training

Eiffage Kier has trained 300 new entrants to the construction and engineering industry through its Training Hub sponsored by the CITB Construction Skills Fund and delivered by Bucks College Group. The courses are completely free and give people the qualifications to build a successful new future in the world of civil engineering.

In addition, Balfour Beatty VINCI will offer approximately 400 apprenticeship and graduate opportunities.

“Growth of the nation, during these unprecedented and challenging times”

– Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s group chief executive

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