UK: Crossrail Ltd announced on April 1 that it intends to appoint a team of Bechtel, Halcrow and Systra as project delivery partner for the construction of the central section of the east-west route across London.

Under the terms of the £400m contract they will be responsible for overseeing delivery of the central tunnelled section and will also manage the project design process.

Bechtel’s appointment follows soon after the award of a £100m contract to the Transcend consortium to act as programme partner with responsibility for what Crossrail terms ‘strategic programme management’. Bechtel will assume the role of lead contractor and it will be responsible to Transcend for co-ordinating the activities of other contractors, to be appointed through the award of design and construction contracts.

In line with European procurement requirements, confirmation of the award is expected around April 10 after the required ‘standstill’ period.

The four shortlisted bidders for the Project Delivery Partner contract were Legacy 3 (a joint venture between Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd, Balfour Beatty Management Ltd and Davis Langdon Programme Management Ltd); Bechtel Ltd; Laing O'Rourke Holdings Limited; and a joint venture between Capita Symonds Ltd and Northcroft Ltd.

Preparatory works will continue throughout 2009, with the main construction work beginning next year. Crossrail is scheduled to open for service in 2017.