The package was originally awarded to Align, our joint venture with Bouygues Travaux Publics SAS, VolkerFitzpatrick and its design partners Jacobs Engineering and Ingérop-Rendel, in July 2017.
Since then Align has been progressing the design and starting critical pre-construction activities, working in collaboration with HS2, culminating yesterday with the issuing of a Notice to Proceed.
The C1 package is worth £1.6bn and sits within HS2 phase 1. The C1 route starts approximately 20km to the west of central London and runs across the Colne Valley and then through the Chiltern Hills to the north west. It consists of 21.6km of high speed rail infrastructure that includes what will become a landmark 3.37km viaduct across the Colne Valley and a 16.04km twin-bored tunnel with five ventilation shafts.
Align have already delivered a complete scheme design along with the construction programme and key procurement activities.
The decision by HS2 to issue their Notice to Proceed, signifies the second stage of the project which includes implementation of detailed design and the construction works.
Our Civil Engineering Business Unit Managing Director Tony Gates said: "The notice to proceed is, of course, welcome news not just for Sir Robert McAlpine, but for the country as a whole. This is an investment not just into vital infrastructure, but into the creation of thousands of jobs for UK workers. The skills and experiences those working on the project will pick up will be hugely important for helping tackle future engineering challenges.
"As we tackle an ambitious plan, which includes a landmark viaduct and twin-bored tunnel, we have an opportunity to not just demonstrate the technical excellence that marks out this country's construction sector, but also the seamless collaboration between parties required to deliver Europe's largest infrastructure project."
Jean-Pierre Margolin, Executive Director at Bouygues Travaux Publics and an Align Board Director commented: “I am delighted with how the Align team has come together to develop the design and planning in close coordination with all stakeholders involved for what will be an iconic element of HS2.”
Daniel Altier, Align Project Director, added: “This is a complex project however we have delivered some unique innovations to address the engineering challenges relating to both design and planned construction of the tunnel, the tunnel shafts and the viaduct. It’s both rewarding and exciting to get the construction element of the project underway.”