And HS2 Ltd has also gone out to tender with a £50m programme of enabling works for phase 2a.
Phase 2a is the 58km section of the HS2 high speed railway than runs between Birmingham and Crewe, to link up with points northwest. While construction has now started on phase 1 (London-Birmingham), phase 2 sections to Manchester and more particularly Leeds remains subject to scepticism among commentators about when or if they might finally be delivered. Contracts being awarded on the section to Crewe shows HS2’s commitment to getting on with work.
Draft legislation to seeking powers to build operate and maintain HS2 phase 2a are currently proceeding through Parliament. Royal Assent is anticipated this winter.
HS2 has already begun a programme of ground investigation along the Birmingham-Crewe route and a package worth between £25m and 30m has been awarded to Balfour Beatty. Data from this, and previous geological investigations, will inform ongoing design development.
HS2 has invited companies to tender for enabling works contracts to be awarded on Phase 2a of the project. Known as ‘Early Civils Work – Package 2’ (ECW2), it includes a range of enabling works on highways and utilities to reduce disruption during the main build stage.
The ECW2 package will awarded via the government’s existing Construction Works and Associated Services framework, with the contract expected to be awarded in early 2021.
HS2 Ltd’s procurement and commercial director, David Poole, said: “The winner of this contract will play a vital role in delivering the next stage of Britain’s new high speed railway, taking the route north from Birmingham to Crewe and by using the government’s existing framework we hope to streamline the procurement process.”