London Underground upgrades and expansions
London Underground upgrades and expansions Dec 2009
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
A new ticket hall nearly six times the size of the current facility and new escalators to the Northern Line are part of a major station update on the London Underground station at Tottenham Court Road, which is now finally moving into construction. In a welcome boost of confidence for the UK tunnelling and public infrastructure construction market, London Underground is expected to confirm award of the Tottenham Court Road upgrade to the Taylor Woodrow/BAM Nuttall JV on Monday (December 14, 2009). With a value of approximately £250 million (US$400 million) the works will include new SCL excavations and equipment installations to provide step-free access into the underground station and increased passenger capacity between the Northern and Central Lines that interconnect at the station. Surface access capacity upgrade will also have to account for the increased passenger traffic that will be generated through the station as a stop on London's new Crossrail project. Crossrail connection works are currently in the Crossrail station contract package, but these may be more economically included in the LU upgrade package. Preparatory works, including demolition of compulsory purchase buildings and utility diversion, to make way for the upgrade and future Crossrail construction activity is well underway. With confirmation of contract expected on Monday, Taylor Woodrow/BAM Nuttall would mobilise to site in early 2010.
The upgrade contract is with London Underground (LU) as operator of the system for Transport for London (TfL) and the works will be carried out according to the design completed for the client by UK consultants Halcrow. In a JV arrangement that will continue for bidding work on

Demolition makes way for station rebuild

future LU station upgrade contracts, BAM Nuttall will manage the SCL excavations and civil works and Taylor Woodrow will complete the M&E installations and fit-outs.
A shortlist of five companies were invited to tender the contract in March 2009. The other bidders were Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, the Skanska-Mace JV and the Costain/Laing O'Rourke/Bachy Soletanche JV. TfL extended the scope of the contract in September 2009 to include replacement of existing escalators, management of Oxford Street utilities settlement mitigation works, and changes to some aspects of the surface design structures.
Award of the contract by London Underground is seen as a positive move for the UK construction industry and moves forward a multi-billion programme of works required by London Underground alone to upgrade and improve passenger access and the underground environment of many of its stations. After a miserable year for contractors, with bids submitted but going nowhere for months and months, and tenders for several projects being delayed and postponed for up to a full year, this award indicates that clients, or at least LU, has had time after a hiatus in earlier 2009, to review its financial situation and clarify what it can afford to fund under the constrained financial climate. Following award of the Tottenham Court Road work, award of a similar upgrading contract at Bond Street Underground station, another interconnecting station on the Crossrail route, is anticipated for early 2010. Other upgrades of existing LU underground stations ahead of Crossrail construction include contracts at Whitechapel, Paddington, Liverpool Street, and Farringdon Stations.

Crossrail's station at Tottenham Court Road

These interconnecting LU-Crossrail station upgrades are seeing their contracts moving ahead at the expense of the Victoria Station upgrade (VSU). Tenders for the VSU contract have been in for several months but stay on hold for the time being. The large, VSU upgrade, valued at about £350 million and managed directly by LU, is needed urgently to relieve congestion that sees the main underground access points controlled during the rush hours to prevent unmanageable crowding on the underground platforms.
In the meantime Joseph Gallagher Ltd is preparing to start shaft excavation for its interconnecting Green Park Station redevelopment contract on the Jubilee, Victoria and Piccadilly lines. This contract is with Tube Lines as the company responsible to LU and TfL for the maintenance and renewal of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines.
Progression of these contracts provide promise to the UK construction community that the many, multi-million pound upgrading contracts that are designed and waiting for funding will now join a procurement programme that will roll out during 2010.
Progress on another project for the Underground is also moving forward. A team lead by Halcrow has been appointed to prepare the reference design for the underground extension of the Northern Line from Kennington in South London to the £4 billion redevelopment of the Battersea powerstation site in Wandsworth. Working for Treasury Holdings, developers of the masterplan for Battersea site owners Real Estate Opportunities, Halcrow and its team partners including structural engineers Buro Happold, cost consultants Corderoy, and station architects Studio Dare will confirm the alignment of the running tunnels from a branch-off at the existing Kennington underground station to a new underground station at Battersea and with possibily a second new underground station at Nine Elms, the home of the new Embassy of the United States and other redevelopments. Working to a tight deadline the team will prepare the extension project for application of a government approval Transport and Works Act Order submission before the end of 2010. Treasury Holdings is working with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and Wandsworth and Lambeth local councils to confirm the design of the different project elements and how they will contribute to substantial redevelopment of this south-of-the-river part of London.
Underground extension to Battersea in London - TunnelTalk, Oct 2009
Shortlist for Crossrail running tunnels contracts - TunnelTalk, Dec 2009

Transport for London - Underground station upgrades programme
Transport for London - Tottenham Court Road upgrade
Crossrail Battersea powerstation redevelopment

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