Balfour wins £1.2b Lower Thames Crossing deal


Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £1.2 billion contract to deliver a series of new highways and support structures for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. 

Lower Thames Crossing tunnel at Tilbury in Essex.
Credit: Balfour
by Rory ButlerJanuary 23, 2023

The firm was selected for the major ‘Roads North of the Thames’ package by National Highways. 

Balfour will design and build more than 10 miles of new highways, connecting the M25 at Junction 29 and the A13 with the Lower Thames Crossing tunnel at Tilbury in Essex. 

The scheme aims to create a new connection under the River Thames to “increase capacity and ease congestion in the South of England”. 

Modular techniques 

Balfour will also deliver 49 structures as part of the project, including bridges and major viaducts by utilising modular construction techniques to build the structures offsite, thus reducing carbon emissions. 

Social value 

Balfour aims to invest £500 million with local businesses and supply chain partners as part of the scheme.  

It will also set up an “Operator Skills Hub” to upskill plant operators and inspire new talent. 

At peak construction, the firm will directly employ c.2,000 people, including 150 apprentices, graduates and trainees. 

“The Lower Thames Crossing is a 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,” said Leo Quinn, Group Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty  

Following an 18-month design and pre-construction planning phase, Notice to Proceed from the Department for Transport is expected in 2024. Completion is expected between 2029 and 2030. 

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