London City Airport has secured a planning consent for a £344M expansion project that will enable the airport to welcome 6.5M passengers by 2025.The project includes construction of seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and passenger terminal extension.It is believed that the expansion project will allow the airport to welcome quieter, next-generation aircraft and add more capacity. The airport will also be able to add about 32,000 extra flights by 2025, and the expansion will open up opportunities for airlines to serve longer-haul destinations including the Middle East, Turkey, Russia and the east coast of the US.London City Airport’s CEO Declan Collier said: “Expansion at London City Airport will create more than 2,000 new jobs in East London, add much-needed aviation capacity in the South East, and generate an additional £750M per year for the UK economy. I welcome the decision and look forward to delivering new airport capacity for the South East by 2019.”The project will create 500 construction jobs and 1,600 jobs upon completion.
London’s Gatwick Airport has chosen 17 construction and engineering companies for the next stage of its £2.5bn transformation. The appointment follows the visit of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to the airport to support a second runway. The next stage of its transformation include building, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering works for low-complexity projects up to £1.5M and for medium-complexity projects between £1M-£10M.Gatwick’s development director Raymond Melee said: “These contractors will help to deliver the next phase of Gatwick’s transformation, which has already seen £1.3bn of investment since independent ownership in 2009.“Gatwick is growing fast with more than 41M passengers a year now travelling through the world’s busiest single-runway airport — a decade ahead of industry predictions. As we rapidly approach full capacity Gatwick stands ready to deliver a second runway.”The 17 contractors chosen for the development are Vinci, Galliford Ty, Balfour Beatty, Volker Fitzpatrick, Interserve, Harvey Group, Murphy, Kier, Wates, Marco, Dyer & Butler, Colas, BAM Nuttall, Raymond Brown, Gratte Bros, SSE Contracting and Ergro.
Highways England has announced that work on Lancashire County Council’s £124M Heysham Link project is nearing completion.The new road will link Heysham with junction 34 of the M6, and will be officially named the Bay Gateway later this year.The new slip road onto the northbound M6 is now being built. For that, the existing access south of the River Lune will be closed for 10 days, starting 22 July 2016, Highways England announced.Highways England project manager Paul Elliott said: “Although Heysham Link is a county council project along the local road network, its connection to the M6 is delivering significant improvements at junction 34 of the motorway with better entry and exit slip roads.“The closure of the existing northbound entry slip road to complete these improvements is part of that.”The road project started in January 2014 and is scheduled to be complete in October.
UK-based architectural firm Grimshaw Architects has been selected by Heathrow Airport to design the concept for the £16bn Heathrow’s expansion project.Grimshaw was chosen from a shortlist of four of the UK-based architects, which included Zaha Hadid, HOK and Benoy.This selection follows the announcement of Arup, CH2M, MACE and Turner & Townsend as programme client partners for the project in March 2016.Heathrow’s head of design Barry Weekes said: “We look forward to working with Grimshaw to develop their bold ideas so that once the government approves the Heathrow expansion, we can create a world-class sustainable hub airport which delivers for our passengers, our airlines and also helps to integrate Heathrow with our local communities.“With the Concept Architect and Programme Client Partners now in place, we are now ready to begin the process of expansion once the government makes the right choice for the whole of Britain.”
Russian Railways (RZD) international subsidiary RZD International and JSC Infrastructure Railways of Serbia have signed a $338M contract for construction and rehabilitation of the Stara Pazova—Novi Sad section of the Belgrade—Budapest rail line.Under the contract, RZD International will build a 3km-long double track viaduct and a new 2.2km tunnel named Chortanovtsy. Construction of the tunnel and viaduct is expected to cost more than $258M.Furthermore, the company will be responsible for the construction of a centralised traffic control centre.Upon completion, passenger and freight train speeds on the rail section will increase to 200kmph.Construction work is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2017.
Sacyr subsidiary SIS has secured a contract to build and manage the 186km Rome-Latina freeway in Italy.The contract, awarded by Autostrade del Lazio, has a concession period of 43 years. It includes the construction of 100km of freeway and 86km of secondary roads.Estimated to cost €2.8bn, the project represents the final part of Lazio Major Bypass, which includes the Sole, Cisterna-Valmontone, Rome-Latina and Orte-Civitavecchia freeways.It also involves the construction of 78 viaducts and overpasses with a total length of 23.7km, two tunnels, five cut-and-fill tunnels, 17 link roads and three central toll barriers.
A report released by Unesco supports plans for the conversion of the A303 at Stonehenge into a tunnel.In October 2015, the UK received representatives from the Unesco World Heritage Centre to investigate and advise on issues related to the proposed project.The report concluded that the proposed 2.9km dual carriageway tunnel will have a positive impact on the site, even though the organisation is cautious about the possible adverse effects on the historic landscape, including the position and design of tunnel entrances, embankments, entry and exit ramps and the construction work. However, it stated that those issues could be addressed with “good design and construction controls”.Several heritage groups have welcomed the report. Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, which looks after Stonehenge said: “Provided that it is designed and built in the right way, a tunnel would reunite the wider landscape around the ancient stones, helping people to better understand and enjoy them." Part of the government’s £15bn five-year Road Investment Strategy, the project is expected to improve journey times and the surroundings of the World Heritage site. A £17.5M package of work has already been awarded to an Atkins and Arup joint venture, under the Highways England’s Collaborative Framework (CDF), to develop options to take to public consultation and ultimately a preferred route announcement.The scheme, an integral part of creating an A303 “expressway” connecting London to the Southwest, also includes the dualling of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester and the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and A303 at Southfields. Construction work is set to start by April 2020.
Construction has commenced on Foster + Partners’ multi-million transformation of one of Stockholm’s oldest locks into a dynamic urban quarter in Stockholm, Sweden.The SEK12bn ($1.4bn) project, known as New Slussen, has been designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with the city of Stockholm.The project will replace the lock’s dilapidated water and transport infrastructure.The new masterplan offers an opportunity to readdress balance between road vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists while enhancing the public realm.The development will include a new civic quarter that will provide transport links alongside new public buildings, new restaurants, cafes and cultural amenities.It will also feature a ‘Water Plaza’ — a pedestrianised public space arranged around the new navigation lock and realigned quayside.Foster + Partners’ head of design Spencer de Grey said: “The City of Stockholm has truly embraced a wonderful opportunity to re-establish and reinforce the vital link between Stockholm’s central islands of Södermalm and the heritage site of Gamla stan, rehabilitating the historic fabric of the city while creating a lively new urban destination for all.“This is a once in a life time undertaking in a uniquely significant and spectacular setting. We are honoured and very proud to be a part of this incredible and visionary project.”
Balfour Beatty has won a £170M contract to upgrade the baggage screening and handling systems for Heathrow Airport Limited in London. The project, awarded through Heathrow Airport Limited Delivery Integrator Framework to which Balfour Beatty was appointed in 2014, will include the upgrading and installing of a baggage screening and handling systems at Heathrow’s eastern baggage facility.The company will utilise the latest Building Information Modelling techniques to define the most efficient approach to design, manage logistics and to interface with live airport operations.Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group chief executive, said: “This contract award is testament to the strength of the partnership we have developed with Heathrow Airport Limited over the last 17 years. “The UK aviation sector is a core market for Balfour Beatty and we are delighted to play our part in helping Heathrow maintain its position as a leading travel hub and supporting local employment.”
Skanska has won a NOK735M ($88.3M) contract from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for the construction of a phase of E16 in Norway.The scope of the project will include the construction of new road and widening of existing road to two fields, 8.5m-wide, on an approximately 11km stretch between Bagn and Bjørgo. It will also include a 4.3km tunnel, a 150m-long bridge, several smaller bridges, underpasses and a junction.Work on the project will commence in August 2016 and will be completed by December 2019.
3Angle consortium has secured a €220M contract from the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) for the A27/A1 motorway project in the Netherlands.The scope of the project will include the design, construction, management, maintenance, and financing for the reconstruction of the A27 motorway between Utrecht North and the Eemnes junction, as well as the A1 motorway between the Eemnes junction and the Bunschoten-Spakenburg connection.The project also includes the widening of the A27 from 2x2 to 2x3 lanes and the widening of the A1 from 2x2 to 2x4 lanes. The consortium will also widen the A27-A1 connecting curve within the Eemnes junction.Under the contract, 3Angle will manage and do the maintenance of the A27/A1 motorway for a period of 25 years.The final project contract is expected to be awarded by the end of July, with a financial close expected in October. The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2019.
A joint venture between John Sisk and Lagan Construction is set to commence work on a triple-decker roundabout project in North Tyneside, UK.The £75M project will be delivered for Highways England and includes the lowering of the A19, beneath the existing A1058 Coast Road, and roundabout to minimise congestion. According to Highways England, the project will enhance the drivers’ safety, and provide better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.The scheme will be located on the main route to and from the Tyne Tunnel and will mean that people travelling along the A19 will no longer have to queue at the roundabout to go straight on. Instead, drivers will be able to use a new section of road, which will run under the existing junction.Highways England’s project manager Julie Alexander said: “Once complete, this scheme will improve journey times on the A19 by reducing congestion and improving safety for the thousands of drivers that use this junction each day as well as cyclists and pedestrians.“The A19 is a vital strategic link providing access to the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, Silverlink Retail Park, Cobalt Business Park and South East Northumberland. During construction we will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum and ensure that traffic does keep moving.”Construction work is expected to commence in August 2016.
Cheshire East Council’s cabinet has given the go-ahead to the £90M Congleton link road in Cheshire, UK.The new 5.7km road will run to the north of the town, South of Eaton, and will link the A534 Sandbach Road with Sandy Lane, to the A536 Macclesfield Road — providing a new village crossing at the River Dane.The project is set to enhance connection with other major towns and the motorway network, and improve the residents’ quality of life — through traffic reduction and better air quality.Half of the link’s cost will be funded by the central government, while £23M will come from developers and the remaining £22M will be met by the council.The scheme will now be referred to the Secretary of State for communities and local government for a final decision on the planning application, allowing time for the Council’s next steps — land acquisition and appointment of a contractor.Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: "I am pleased that both Cabinet and the strategic planning board have reached these decisions."This is the biggest road infrastructure scheme undertaken by this Council and I know it will be of enormous relief to many people in Congleton to know that it is proceeding."The link road will relieve traffic congestion in Congleton and, as a result, will boost the local economy by opening up new sites for development and create new opportunities for businesses and workers."The project has the potential to create 3,400 jobs in the region.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a €150M loan for the construction of new sections of the D4 highway and the R7 expressway in the Slovak Republic.The project includes 27km of new sections from Jarovce to Ivanka Sever and Ivanka Sever to Rača of the D4 highway — part of the comprehensive Trans-European Network development programme. Together with the R7 expressway, they will provide a connection between the D1 and D2 highways.The 32km R7 expressway from Prievoz to Holice will connect the D4 and D1 highways and provide access to the city of Bratislava from the southeast.The loan is part of a larger financial package totalling €875M provided to the concessionaire Zero Bypass Limited under a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. Zero Bypass Limited — owned by Macquarie Corporate Holdings Pty Limited, Cintra Infraestructuras International and Porr AG — secured the contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the newly-constructed segments of D4 and R7 for 30 years after an open tender process.Sue Barrett, EBRD director for transport, said: “This is a very important project and the EBRD is pleased to join forces with other financiers to make it happen. “The new road sections will play an important role in easing traffic congestion around Bratislava, open up access to other parts of the country and connect the Slovak Republic with Trans-European Networks.”
The €382M Kieldrecht Lock has been inaugurated at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.Measuring 500m in length, 68m in width and 17.8m in depth, the Kieldrecht Lock is said to be the largest lock in the world.The new lock, which has been built over five years, is expected to strengthen the position of the Port of Antwerp as a major hub of the EU Trans- European Network (TEN-T).The European Investment Bank (EIB) has financed the project with a contribution of €160.5M.Antwerp Port Authority chairman Marc Van Peel said: “The Kieldrecht Lock forms a necessary key to the further development of the port on the left bank of the Scheldt River. In recent years, our port had successfully overcome many hurdles, now ranking as number two in Europe.“In order to retain that leading position, Antwerp must have a highly necessary basic infrastructure such as well-functioning locks that are adapted to the increased scale of international shipping.“However, Antwerp also needs space to grow, which explains the first phase of the construction of the Saeftinghedok — a new tidal dock on the left bank of the Scheldt river — the next infrastructural project that is high on the agenda.”
Russian real estate development company LSR Group has begun construction on a new tram network in Krasnogvardeysky, St. Petersburg.The corresponding concession agreement was inked between the government of Saint Petersburg and Transportnaya Kontsessionnaya Kompaniya, a joint venture of LSR Group and Leader Investment Company. The overall project, including the upgrading of existing lines and the construction of a new tram network and its operation over the period of 30 years, is expected to cost RUB32.7bn ($488.6M).In particular, the construction and maintenance of the tram network will require an investment of RUB12.7bn ($189.7M).Construction work is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Femern Link Contractors joint venture has won three conditional contracts for the Femernbelt transport link between Denmark and Germany.The contracts from the Danish government, which have a total value of €3.4bn, include the design and build of what is set to be the world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel.One of the contracts covers the building of the portal structures, toll buildings, bridges and ramps, while the other two cover the construction of the immersed tunnel and the factory that will manufacture the precast tunnel elements.The tunnel will be 18km long and will connect Denmark’s Lolland Falster region with Germany’s Schleswig Holstein region, shortening the journey between both countries from one hour by ferry or a 160km detour by car to just ten minutes by car or seven minutes by train.The joint venture, which includes VINCI Construction Grands Projects, Per Aarsleff, Royal Bam Group, Solétanche-Bachy International, CFE and Max Bögl Stiftung & Co, is expected to start construction work in January 2018, subject to permits from the German Government.The link will take approximately eight and a half years to complete.
After the tunnel’s first blast in the main shaft 17 years ago, the Gotthard base tunnel in Switzerland opens today. To celebrate the completion of the world’s longest rail tunnel, the country is holding an opening ceremony.1,200 guests have been invited for the festivities that are expected to cost €8M. German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi are among the guests of honour at the ceremony. At the weekend, additional opening events are expected to attract 50,000-100,000 visitors.The longest tunnel — named after the patron saint of travelling merchants, St Gotthard— runs through the Alps, between Erstfeld, Uri, and Bodio, Ticiano. Trains using the €11bn rail tunnel won’t go into service until 11 December 2016, when it will be fully operational. Until then, test runs will be conducted at the rail line.When fully operational, 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will travel through the two-way tunnel each day, reducing the journey times between Zurich and Milan from more than four hours to just two-and-a-half hours. Travel through the tunnel itself will take just 20 minutes, with a stop at the control station of Sedrun.Gotthard has overtaken the 53.9km Seikan Tunnel in northern Japan as the longest rail tunnel in the world, demoting the 50.5km Channel Tunnel between Britain and France to third place.The Gotthard base tunnel in numbers: • Start of construction works: 1999• Length: 57.09km• Total length of tunnels: 151.84km• Diameter of rail tunnels: 8.5m• Highest elevation: 549m• Depth: 2,300m• Mountain rock excavated: 28.2M tonnes• Concrete used: 131,000cu m• Workforce: up to 2,600• Maximum train speed: up to 250kph• Cost: €11bn
Mott MacDonald and Sweco have won a £50M contract from Transport Scotland for the A96 Dualling road project in the UK.Under the contract, the joint venture will carry out route option assessment and detailed design work for the dualling of the 29-mile western section of the A96 between Auldearn and Fochabers next month.New Minister for Transport & Islands Humza Yousaf said: “This major design contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96 with all the investment and improvements that it will bring to local economies right across the north of Scotland.“Road users will not only enjoy the benefits of improved journey time and reliability, better connectivity between destinations but also, crucially, improved road safety for all those who use this key artery connecting two of Scotland’s economic hubs.“In addition, this contract will also provide a huge boost for the local and national economy, with the successful bidder securing steady work for years to come and many more opportunities for small and medium enterprises through subcontracted work.“We also remain on track to finalise the preferred option for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme, with draft Orders due to be published later this year.“Along with our ambitious plans to build over 80 miles of new dualled road on the A9 between Perth and Inverness, delivering the new £1.3 billion Queensferry Crossing over the Forth, and the £500M M8-M73-M74 improvements in Glasgow, this contract is yet another example of the significant investment the Scottish Government is making in transport infrastructure right across Scotland.”The A96 dualling is part of the Scotland’s trunk road upgrade project between Inverness and Aberdeen, to be finished by 2030.
The opening of the world’s longest rail tunnel is set to take place as planned on 1 June 2016.The CHF12.2bn ($12.3bn) Gotthard base tunnel, which measures 57km in length, runs under the Swiss Alps and is designed to reduce travel times across Europe. Construction of the tunnel started in 1999, 17 years ago, and since then 28.2m tonnes of mountain rock has been excavated during the tunneling works. Trains will be able to travel in the tunnel at speeds of up to 250km per hour, reducing the journey times between Zurich and Milan from more than four hours to just two-and-a-half hours.