Lower Thames Crossing in sight!


At last, and after much to-ing and fro-ing, Balfour Beatty has been announced as the chosen contractor to deliver the Lower Thames Crossing, that’s a new tunnel between Essex and Kent. The company, Britain’s Biggest contractor, has been awarded £1.2bn of the £6.8 billion project which will become the UK’s longest road tunnel under the River Thames.

Balfour overcame competition from Kier Eiffage, a joint venture between Kier Highways and French firm Eiffage Genie Civil, to grab work on the £6.8bn crossing, which will become the UK’s longest road tunnel under the River Thames. It will also deliver 49 structures including bridges and major viaducts using modular construction techniques. 

Construction is believed to begin in 2024 which means that recruitment firms, like ours, will be lining up to fill a host of posts. The contractor plans to employ a workforce of around 2,000 and spend £500m with local businesses and supply chain partners. 

Talking to Building.co.uk, Leo Quinn, group chief executive of Balfour Beatty, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is a significant scheme – one that will stimulate local, regional and national economic growth, create employment opportunities and new, sustainable methods of construction for the future of our industry.  

“Our deep domain knowledge and long-standing history in complex road construction, acquired through many years of successful delivery on behalf of National Highways, makes us ideally positioned to deliver this project to the highest standard.” 

Four bidders, including Kier Eiffage, are also in the running for a separate £600m to build roads in Kent as part of the project.

*Image courtesy of Building.co.uk