National Highways awards Balfour Beatty the 1.2B Lower Thames Crossing contract

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National Highways has today (23 January 2023) announced that Balfour Beatty has been awarded the Roads North of the Thames contract on the proposed Lower Thames Crossing project. 

The contract is worth around £1.2 billion and will see 10 miles of new road and 49 new structures built north of the river Thames.

The start of construction is subject to the project being granted a Development Consent Order and government’s final funding and investment decision. 

The Lower Thames Crossing is a proposed new road between Kent and Essex through the longest road tunnels in the UK, beneath the river Thames.  

The Roads North of the Thames contract is a two-stage design and build contract delivering the around 10 miles of new road north of the Thames in Thurrock to Junction 29 of the M25 in the London Borough of Havering, including a number of new link roads and junctions to connect with the M25, A13 and A1089. 

Katharina Ferguson, Lower Thames Crossing Procurement Director, said “Balfour Beatty will bring the best of UK construction to bare on this project. They share our commitment to driving carbon out of construction and maximise the benefits for local communities.” 

Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is significant scheme – one that will stimulate local, regional and national economic growth, create employment opportunities and new, sustainable methods of construction for the future of our industry.   

“Our deep domain knowledge and long-standing history in complex road construction, acquired through many years of successful delivery on behalf of National Highways, makes us ideally positioned to deliver this project to the highest standard.” 

National Highways applied for a Development Consent Order for the Lower Thames Crossing in 2022, and in 2023 the proposals for the new road will be thoroughly examined by a panel of independent, government appointed experts. 


Notes to Editors

The Roads North of the Thames contract is valued around £1.2 billion, and comprises:   

  • Around 10 miles of new road  
  • Over 49 proposed new and/or upgraded structures, embankments, cuttings and retaining walls, under bridges to take the route through the A13 and to join the M25  
  • Viaducts at Tilbury over Cole’s Reservoirs and at Mardyke across flood plain   
  • Connecting the new road to the M25 at Junction 29  
  • The diversion of utilities including gas mains and electric cables and towers  
  • Ecological works for species protection and habitat enhancement along the route  
  • Archaeology carefully and sensitively excavated and recorded 

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