Optimised design wins Bank Station upgrade 11 Jul 2013
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
A bid that improves nearly 50% on base design requirements and cost estimates has secured the Bank Station upgrade contract for Dragados and its design team URS and SCL engineer Sauer & Partners.
After approval last week by the Transport for London Board to fund the design of the selected bidder, official award of contract is expected after Monday (15 July), when the EU regulatory standstill period ends. Award of contract will begin an intense period of engineering by the Dragados team to deliver the final project design as part of the application in 2014 for a Transport and Works Act Order to obtain central government approval in 2015 to proceed with the public investment. A planned start of construction in 2016 would achieve a projected completion of the project in 2021.
The leading group won through form a short list of four prequalified rivals for the design-build contract:
• Dragados - bidding on its own with designers URS and Dr Sauer & Partners Ltd
• Costain/Vinci JV with design-build consultant Mott MacDonald - the closest rival in the final stages
• BAM Nutall/Ferrovial/Kier
• Morgan Sindall/Balfour Beatty/Alpine BeMo.

Elements of the Bank Station upgrade

The project is required to increase the capacity of the fourth busiest interchange station of the Underground network after Waterloo, King's Cross/St Pancras and Victoria. Six Underground lines interchange at Bank - Northern, Central, Waterloo & City, and the District and Circle line at the Monument end of the complex - and it is the city terminus of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).
The base design for the upgrade was developed to stage D of the project procurement formula established by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA-D) and applied to UK public expenditure projects, and focuses on relieving congestion on the Northern Line facilities. Plans include excavating a new platform running tunnel of about 570m long; converting the existing platform tunnel into a concourse and throughway; constructing a new ticket hall at King William Street with a set of four largelifts for step-free access to the Northern Line platforms; and installation of additional passageways, stairways and escalators to increase connection capacity to the DLR and Central Line - a programme of work that is estimated at some £600 million.
The potential to secure substantial savings on the initial base design and costs of the civil works contract is credited to a new procurement process known as Innovative Contractor Engagement. Used here for the first time, the process is designed to capitalize on the expertise and knowledge of bidders to drive innovation, improve project deliverables and reduce cost. The initiative is directed at meeting objectives of the Mayor of London and government offices to deliver better value for public spending money.
The process changes fundamental procurement practice by London Underground, as project owner for public authority Transport for London. Contrary to soliciting competitive tenders for a 100% client procured fixed design, London Underground instead issued a set of basic project requirements which, for Bank Station, were to:
• Relieve congestion on the Northern Line platforms and interchange routes
• Provide step-free access between the Northen Line, the DLR and street level and
• Improve fire evacuation time for these areas of the station

Limited space on the Bank Station Northern Line platform

When released for consultation in 2011, London Underground received more than 200 responses. Further development resulted in the pre-qualification of the four competing design-build groups, which were supplied with the. Each bidder then went through a confidential review phase to develop innovative ideas and designs to improve the project's RIBA-D base design business case and reduce the time and cost of delivering the works while meeting the requirements.
According to London Underground, the selected bid by Dragados scored an overall improvement of 49.8% on the base design. This includes a 19% improvement to customer journey time and a 23% reduction on cost.
"We are delighted with the outcome," said David Waboso, Director of Capital Programmes in a statement from London Underground. "The target was an increase in value of 15%, made up of reduction in the estimated final cost, improvements in the benefits, reduction in disadvantages and risk, and an improved schedule. Three of the four bidders exceeded this target."
The bid by Dragados was said to be the third lowest on price but that the lowest was considered as being "abnormally low" and dismissed. Part of the bid could, however, could be adopted since part of the new process is to pay other bidders for innovations that are adoptedand incorporated into the successful bidder's final design and construction process.
As a pilot application, the process is being observed closely by central Government, through the 'Infrastructure UK' initiative, as a possible model for public expenditure projects across the UK.
Swelling order book
This latest success for Dragados adds to a list of underground construction contracts secured by the Spanish contractor in different parts of the world.
Two weeks ago, at the end of June (2013), the company, as a 25% JV partner with Thiess (50%) and John Holland (25%), was awarded the 15km twin running tunnels contract for the North West Rail Link project in Sydney.
In Canada, Dragados is a part of the Rideau Transit Group with its parent group ACS Infrastructure, SNC-Lavalin, and SEM designer Dr Sauer & Partners, engaged to design-build-finance and maintain the Can$2.1 billion Confederation LRT line for the capital city Ottawa.
In the United States, the company is the lead partner with Tutor Perini, operating the largest TBM in the world currently, to complete the bored tunnel replacement of the Alaskan Way viaduct in Seattle and is working on the final concrete lining stages of its running tunnels and station cavern excavations contracts for the East Side Access railway project under Grand Central Station and Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York.
In London, Dragados, with JV partner John Sisk & Son, is progressing the largest tunnelling contract for the Crossrail project, excavating the 8.3km Eastern Running Tunnels in three drives from Farringdon Station to the Victoria Dock and Pudding Mill Lane portals.
The company is also currently bidding for other major projects in the world including the Oslo-Ski Follo railway tunnel project in Norway.
Major upgrade plans for London's Bank Station - TunnelTalk, November 2011
Sydney awards billion dollar rail mega-project - TunnelTalk June 2013
Ottawa awards $2.1 billion Confederation Line - TunnelTalk, December 2012
Crossrail awards tunnelling contracts - TunnelTalk, December 2010
Mega EPBM for Seattle tested in Japan - TunnelCast, December 2012
East Side Access progress - TunnelTalk, February 2012
Prequalification call for Oslo-Ski TBM link - TunnelTalk, May 2013

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