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.
Swedish construction firm NCC has secured a contract from the Swedish Transport Administration to build the SEK3bn ($360M) central station phase of the West Link project in Sweden.The project will include the construction of a railway tunnel from the E6 Highway in the east, a rock tunnel through the Lejonet redoubt, an underground commuter train station located immediately north of Gothenburg Central Station, and the remaining railway tunnel to the west up to the Gothenburg Opera House, a section of nearly 2km.The contract will be delivered under a new model called Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) under which NCC, in partnership with the Transport Administration, will be responsible for project planning and cost optimization. NCC Infrastructure business area manager Svante Hagman said: “We are really positive to the fact that the Transport Administration has decided to procure this project as an Early Contractor Involvement contract.“This cooperative format will enable us to integrate our organizations and create joint understanding of the challenges that a project of this size involves. “We have previously worked in close cooperation on large-scale tunnel projects, such as the City Tunnel in Malmö and the Stockholm City Line, which has given us valuable experience in terms of sustainable technical solutions and the use of leading-edge technology in civil engineering works.”Construction is expected to commence in 2018 and the project is set to be completed in 2026.
The UK government has given the go ahead for the upgrade of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.Estimated to cost up to £1.5bn, the 21-mile project will include a new bypass of Huntingdon between Swavesey and Brampton, the widening of sections of the A1 and A14 roads, and improvements to a number of junctions.The development will also involve improvements in Huntingdon Town Centre to include a new local access road.Highways England director for complex infrastructure Chris Taylor said: “The scheme will provide much needed additional capacity to improve journey times and safety.“We are keen to keep the momentum going and will get preparations for construction underway as soon as possible after the end of the six week statutory challenge period.”Construction work is set to commence in late 2016 with the new bypass and widened A14 opening to traffic in 2020.
Royal Bam Group subsidiary Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau has secured a contract for the construction of a €220m subway tunnel in Frankfurt. The 2km double-track tunnel will be built in the city centre, in the new Gateway Gardens district.The cut and cover tunnel will be about 11m wide and 6m high. Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau will move approximately 900,000 sq m of land and will process 180,000 sq m of concrete.Gateway Gardens is a new development situated close to Frankfurt Airport and houses offices, service areas, hotels, conference and exhibition spaces,, and restaurant and retail facilities.The Gateway Gardens Tunnel is expected to be operational at the end of 2019.
Britain’s Network Rail has assigned two separate contracts worth £90m for the final stage of the Reading and Paddington signalling system, and for the signalling power works between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington.
The railway along the strategic TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor, linking the Baltic Sea with the Ukraine border, is to be upgraded by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe. €250m of funding will be provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the project, which will contribute to the modernisation of the 171km section of the railway line between Warsaw and Lublin and the rehabilitation of the Łuków-Lublin freight bypass. EIB believes that the project will ease commuter traffic in Warsaw and Lublin through the construction of new tracks. The upgraded railway connections will also enhance passenger safety through the implementation of updated security systems. EIB’s vice president László Baranyay said: "The EIB loan will help to improve Poland's railways along a strategic Trans-European transport corridor with positive consequences for the environment, transport safety, capacity and speed. "This will help to improve the quality of life of passengers, particularly people commuting to work in Warsaw and Lublin, as well as modernising the transport links needed to help further Poland's economic development."
A joint venture led by Astaldi and Max Bogl has won a €100m contract from National Company of Motorways and National Roads for the Brasov–Oradea motorway in Romania.
London Luton Airport (LLA) has unveiled plans to build a new £200m light rail link between Luton Airport Parkway station and the airport terminal.The mass passenger transit (MPT) system project is part of a wide-ranging £1.5bn inward investment programme of Luton Council that outlines a 20-year plan for major transformation of the town.LLA has appointed Arup to design and procure the scheme. The MPT system will be a fully-automated, two-way, 24-hour, guided light rail based on latest system technology and design innovation, and when complete will enable more than 2m passengers to undertake a direct journey between the railway station and the airport terminal in less than 30 minutes.Work is slated to begin in 2017 with the system ready for operation by the end of 2020.LLA CEO Nick Barton said: "Improving rail links is a crucial part of LLA's development, and integral to ensure that we provide the best service possible for all our passengers."The creation of a light rail link between Parkway station and the terminal is a significant milestone in the airport's transformation and the first step towards creating a world-class air-rail service."
DAA, formerly known as Dublin Airport Authority, is set to construct a new runway at Dublin Airport.Estimated to cost €320m, the project will include multiple contracts and packages of works.Dublin Airport received planning permission in August 2007, which got delayed due to the economic downturn and subsequent decrease in passenger numbers. The current planning permission was granted with 31 conditions attached.The 3,110m runway will be built 1.6km north of the existing main runway. Enabling works are set to start later in 2016 with construction of the north runway scheduled to start in 2017. The project will create about 1,200 jobs during its development. It is expected to be completed in 2020.DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said: "We are progressing our plans to deliver the new runway in accordance with the development and pathway for growth outlined in the Government's National Aviation Policy (NAP)."Dublin Airport's North Runway will significantly improve Ireland's connectivity supporting trade, foreign direct investment and tourism."
VINCI Construction has won a €496m contract to build the new La Défense station and adjacent tunnels.The company was awarded the contract through its subsidiaries VINCI Construction France, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Dodin Campenon Bernard, Soletanche Bachy France and Botte Fondations, in a joint venture (JV) with Spie Batignolles TPCI and Spie Fondations, The contract, awarded by SNCF Réseau, will involve the construction of a new La Défense station under the CNIT dome and extension of RER line E towards the west of Paris (Eole). Apart from the underground structural work beneath the CNIT itself, the JV will also build 1km of tunnel, a 40m-deep and 15m-diameter shaft and a large number of underground pedestrian corridors enabling connections between the RER E and A lines, the L and U lines of the Transilien and the T2 Tramway.Extending the E line and building the new CNIT-La Défense station is intended to provide commuters with a better quality of service, and connections with other RER lines and the future Grand Paris Express network.The construction work, including the unearthing of 350,000 cubic metres of rubble, will be undertaken without affecting the daily operations of all the CNIT offices, shops and hotel.Work on the project will commence in mid-2016 and will continue for just over five years.The project will create 700 construction jobs at the peak period. It will require 4m hours of labour with more than 300,000 hours that will be carried out under work-integration programmes.
Budimex, a subsidiary of Ferrovial Agroman, has secured a project worth about €175m to design and build the Olsztyn bypass in north-eastern Poland.The scope of the work will include the construction of 14.7km of the S51 highway as it passes south-east of the city.It will also involve the construction of two intersections and access roads, 16 overpasses (one for the railway line), two bridges and a pedestrian overpass.Further, Budimex will also improve some other roads in the municipality. The work on the project is anticipated to be completed in 28 months, excluding the winter time.Recently, Budimex has increased its backlog of road projects with the award of two sections of the S7 (between Nowy Dwor Gdanski and Kazimierzowo and in Ostroda), two sections of the S6 (Ploty-Kielpino and Goleniow-Nowogaid), two segments of the S17 (Garwolin-Gonczyce and Gonczyce to the Lublin-Warsaw provincial border) and the Kepno bypass, on the S11. It has also been selected to build the depot for the light railway system in Olsztyn.
A joint venture between Skanska and BAM Nuttall has secured a contract from Network Rail to build the new Ordsall Chord project in Manchester, UK.The project will connect Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly for the first time, helping to deliver faster and more frequent train service. It forms part of the Northern Hub project to enhance railway services across northern England.The contract runs from 2016 to 2019. Skanska’s share in the contract will be more than £74m, which will be included in order bookings for Skanska UK in the first quarter of 2016.BAM Nuttall sector director Alan Cox said: “This alliance continues a long association we have had with the railway in the North West and we are delighted to be creating such an important new link with an iconic structure that will enrich the railway heritage and passenger experience in the whole region.”Skanska managing director James Richardson said: “This is a significant part of Network Rail’s plan to stimulate economic growth in the north of England and Skanska is delighted to be part of the alliance delivery team helping to achieve this goal.”
Network Rail has unveiled an investment programme worth more than £800m to develop London Waterloo station over the next three years.The project will include the reconstruction of the former Waterloo International Terminal that will enable platforms 20-24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling, as well as a construction of a spacious concourse near the platforms.Plans also include longer platforms at ten stations, upgrades to depots and maintenance facilities, a new fleet of Siemens-built Class 707 trains, and installation of new technology in trains.The project is anticipated to increase peak time capacity by 30% by 2019. Majority of the upgrades are being financed by the Department for Transport as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We are investing £40 billion in our nation’s railway infrastructure - the biggest upgrade since the Victorian times.“From 2017, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and 150 new train carriages providing more space for passengers arriving at London Waterloo over the three-hour morning peak - this is in addition to the 108 extra carriages that have already been added since 2013.”
Balfour Beatty has received a £170m two-year extension to its Track Partnership contract for London Underground.Balfour Beatty Rail secured the original Track Partnership contract in 2010 to provide essential track renewal work across the London Underground network. The extension will take the contract to March 2018.The company will continue to offer design, labour, plant, and materials, alongside surveying, supervision and management of the works.The scope of the contract will include the installation of points and crossings, as well as ballasted track renewal. The company will also be responsible for associated drainage, signalling, traction power and conductor rail works.Balfour Beatty Group Leo Quinn CEO said: “With world-class expertise in track, electrification and power supply systems, Balfour Beatty Rail is a significant player in the UK rail infrastructure market.“We have utilised these market-leading skills and expertise working with London Underground over the last 13 years. This extension is a clear sign of London Underground’s confidence in the capability of Balfour Beatty within the Track Partnership.”
Network Rail has announced plans for a £340m project to upgrade railway in Liverpool City Region over the next three years.The project will include new and longer platforms at Liverpool Lime Street station, a new station at Maghull North, renovation of the Newton-le-Willows station, track renewal on the Merseyrail underground loop, laying of additional track between Huyton and Roby, and upgrading the Halton Curve to support new services between Liverpool and Chester.It will also include the construction of a new bus interchange, extended car park facilities, a new booking hall on the south side of the station, as well as new lifts, subway and stairs.The majority - £229m - of the funding for the project will be provided by Network Rail, while the remaining will be funded by the Liverpool City Region.The upgrades form part of Network Rail's nationwide Railway Upgrade Plan in response to rise in demand for rail services.Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “Our aim over the next three years is to give the people of Liverpool the high-quality rail services they deserve.“With demand for rail travel expected to rise by 100 per cent over the coming years, these improvements are vital for the future growth and prosperity of this great city region.”
The mayor of London has given the green light to the London Overground extension to the Barking Riverside project.Following the approval, Transport for London (TfL) will now apply to the government for a Transport and Works Act Order to start construction on the £263m project.Work will involve a 4.5km extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line, delivering London Overground services to a new station at the Barking Riverside community.The project will be developed by Barking Riverside, which is a newly reformed joint venture between the GLA and London & Quadrant.The developers will provide £172m of the project costs, while the rest will be provided by TfL. Construction work is expected to start in late 2017, with train services starting in 2021.TfL managing director of planning Richard de Cani said: “Overwhelming support has been demonstrated throughout the consultation process for this extension of London Overground network to Barking Riverside.“We will now be moving this to the next step so that we can get construction underway. This vital new railway will breathe life into this area, enabling up to 11,000 vital new homes, along with healthcare and leisure services, to be delivered.”