Crossrail contracts first step in bringing Redbridge closer to heart of London

CONTRACTS for sections of tunnelling which will bring Redbridge closer to the heart of London have been awarded.

The four contacts, totalling �1.5billion, are the first of what bosses for the ambitious Crossrail scheme estimate will be 30 contracts.

Four borough stations on the Crossrail route: Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath, will all be above-ground.

Ilford station will be completely rebuilt and Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath stations upgraded under the plans.

Firms including Kier Construction Ltd and BAM Nuttall Ltd have won the contracts for 18km of the nearly 21km twin-bore tunnelling which will take place underneath central London.

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Crossrail chief executive Rob Holden said: “The value of the contracts, combined with the length of tunnel to be constructed is on a scale not seen in the UK since the Jubilee Line Extension or the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.”

Redbridge Council has already devised an action plan to help it make the most of the opportunities the �15.9billion rail network – which travels from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east – is likely to bring to Redbridge.

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A minimum of 1,500 homes is likely to be built in areas along High Road, as well as around Seven Kings and Goodmayes, where Crossrail is set to leave its footprint.

Other proposals, which have been out to consultation, include: the removal of the mini roundabout by Seven Kings station, with traffic being controlled by traffic lights and new GP practices in High Road.

The first tunnel boring machine will start operating in the Spring of 2012, with all works set to be completed by 2018.

Up to 14,000 people will be employed at the peak of construction of the railway between 2013 and 2015.

Kulveer Ranger, the mayor of London’s transport adviser, said: “With these contracts in place we can begin burrowing beneath the city’s streets to forge the line which will make zipping from east to west even quicker and easier for Londoners, commuters and visitors.”

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