HS2 impression of line with Small Dean viaduct and Wendover Green South Tunnel portal

UK: High Speed 2 main works contractor Align has awarded a 50:50 joint venture of Keller Group and VSL International a £167m contract for geotechnical works on the 21∙6 km section C1 of the route, which includes a 3∙4 km viaduct and twin-bore 16 km tunnels under the Chilterns.

The joint venture’s contract includes construction of piled foundations for the viaducts, grouting works, retaining structures for four ventilation shafts, and ground improvement works for the tunnel cross passages.

At the peak of the work this will require 270 staff on site.

KV has already completed supplementary site investigations and pile testing, and is currently working on advance works for the south portal of the tunnel and the first diaphragm wall for one of the ventilation shafts.

‘The KV joint venture is a continuation of our successful partnership on the Melbourne Metro project in Australia’, said Keller President Europe Jim De Waele on February 19. ’We’re excited to bring our complementary geotechnical capabilities, experience and capacity on one of the most demanding and exciting transport projects in Europe.’