Civils and stations

04.03.19

Engineering firm sues HS2 over £1bn Old Oak Common construction contract

Engineer giant Bechtel has launched a legal challenge against HS2 after losing a £1bn contract to build the Old Oak Common Station, claiming the tender process was botched.

The American firm has lodged a High Court claim against the £1.3bn contract to build the west London station, which was won by Balfour Beatty and Vinci last month.

The Sunday Times reported that the company was suing the £56bn railway company over claims its procurement process for the development of the station was unfair.

Bechtel currently has a £170m contract to deliver Phase 2b of the flagship project, stretching from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester, which it signed in 2017.

The legal action comes as a blow to HS2 and transport secretary Chris Grayling, who is facing calls to resign over a struggling Crossrail, the East Coast railway, claims HS2 could have its speed or capacity reduced, and over a £33m settlement with Eurotunnel over his decision to award suppliers with ferry contracts.

Bechtel was originally in the running for construction of both the Old Oak Common Station and the Euston Station terminal, but pulled out of the latter in order to focus on its bid to build the west London ‘super-hub’.

But Balfour Beatty and Vinci Construction beat rival bidders BAM NUTTALL, Mace/Dragados and Bechtel to the contract, with Mace and Dragados winning the contract for Euston.

The plans for Old Oak Common station were also unveiled in February, with high-speed platforms located underground as well as a direct connection to Crossrail.

 21 OAC Triple level 960

Last week Keith Williams, who is tasked with writing a review regarding the overhaul of the current railway system, said the current system of franchising competitions routes to the private sector was “broken”.

The construction of Old Oak is due to be complete by 2026 and is billed as the UK’s biggest regeneration project, connecting HS2 and Crossrail in what will be the country’s single best-connected to rail interchange.

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