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United Kingdom-Bedford: Tunnelling works
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
Tunnelling and Associated Works Activities
Highways England (HE) is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England's motorways and major A roads. We have a huge road investment programme to deliver and want to engage with suppliers to inform our approach to procuring our larger complex infrastructure projects.
Supplier feedback and providing for genuine 2-way dialogue opportunity to take place between Highways England and the market, listening to what interested parties have to say and using this to shape the project and procurement development is extremely important to us, it is imperative that we work collaboratively to achieve the optimum solutions. At this stage we are consulting the market regarding supplier interest and proposed solutions in relation to the disposal of inert spoil arising from the tunnelling activity in respect of the proposed North Portal for the tunnels at Lower Thames Crossing.
As a 14,5-mile scheme, the Lower Thames Crossing project comprises of 2 bored tunnels beneath the River Thames with interconnecting link roads to the M25, A13 and A2. At 16 metres in diameter, the tunnels will be some of the largest bored tunnels in the world. The crossing will feature 3 lanes in both directions with a maximum speed limit of 70 mph the Lower Thames Crossing is the largest single road investment project in the UK since the M25 was completed more than 30 years ago. At 2,4 miles, each tunnel will be the longest in the country and we expect it to add 90 % extra capacity for customers crossing the River Thames east of London.
The North Portal site will be located on the North Shore of the Thames east of Tilbury B Power station and south of the Tilbury Loop Railway line. The North Portal structure and its approach ramp is to be constructed within a sizeable excavation. Approach roads to the North Portal construction continue at ground level north towards the proposed viaduct over the Tilbury Loop Railway.
Highways England would like to identify potential suppliers interested in receiving spoil arising from the North Portal and Tunnels excavation and its subsequent disposal. The scope of works will require the supplier to take delivery of spoil from the working area sited on the north bank of the Thames. It is important to note that Highways England will not be providing marine transport and the supplier would be required to provide transportation from the working area to its proposed disposal site.
Indicative quantities of inert spoil arising from the North Portal and Tunnels is circa 2 000 000 cubic metres (noting that spoil from the tunnelling activity will be in a post treated state). Inert spoil management strategy is vital to the success of the Lower Thames Crossing Tunnels contract. Early mitigation of project risk around the spoil disposal activity is attractive and is being explored now.
The works are to be undertaken in accordance with the constraints of a future development consent order (DCO). The proposed DCO submission will seek to minimise the environmental impact (including the carbon footprint) of the spoil disposal activity, therefore, the movement of spoil by heavy goods vehicles (HGV) on local roads and the strategic road network (SRN) are likely to be heavily constrained within the DCO application. The proposed DCO application will also need to consider the environmental impact of disposal by marine transport.
Commencement of spoil receipt and disposal services is anticipated for the start of 2023 and will have a duration of circa 3 years.
Highways England intends to use an eSourcing portal (Bravo) to communicate, please register on the portal in order to be involved.
Section IV: Procedure
Section VI: Complementary information
By issuing this PIN, Highways England wishes to formally make the market aware of a potential opportunity in relation to the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) project.
Highways England is committed to ensuring fairness, openness and transparency. Supplier feedback and providing for genuine 2-way dialogue to take place between Highways England and the market, listening to what interested parties have to say and using this to shape the commercial and procurement strategies which set out the approach to the market.
This prior information notice (PIN) is issued solely for the purpose of commencing a market consultation exercise (regarding supplier interest and proposed solutions in relation to the disposal of inert spoil arising) and does not constitute any commitment by Highways England to undertake any public procurement exercise.
To the extent Highways England carries out any procurement, Highways England reserves the right to award contracts in lots or groups of lots. Interested parties will not be prejudiced by any response or failure to respond to this PIN. Nor shall a response to this PIN guarantee an invitation to participate in any future procurement process that Highways England may conduct. This PIN does not constitute a call for competition to procure any works or services and is not published to reduce time limited for the receipt of tenders. Highways England is not bound to accept any proposals offered.
Highways England is not liable for any costs, fees or expenses incurred by any party responding to this PIN or any party who may participate in the market consultation exercise. In the event that Highways England decides to proceed with any procurement, it is currently assumed that such procurement will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 unless any legal requirement requires a different procedure to be adopted.
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For more information on the Lower Thames Crossing project please visit: