Highways England launches tender to build £2bn Lower Thames Crossing tunnel


Highways England has launched its £2bn tunnelling contract for the Lower Thames Crossing in Britain.

The firms are being invited to express their interest to construct which Highways England claimed to be the longest road tunnel in Britain which sits at the heart of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.

The 4.2km long road tunnel would include 23km of the new road that will link the M2/A2, A13 and M25.

Claimed to be the longest road tunnels in the UK, the tunnel will include two 4km tunnels, one for southbound traffic, and the other for northbound traffic crossing beneath the river.

With southern entrance located to the east of the village of Chalk, the road tunnel will pass below the River Thames and its northern entrance to the west of East Tilbury.

The tunnel crossing, which will include the construction of nearly 50 new bridges and viaducts, will be located to the east of Gravesend on the south side of the river, and to the west of East Tilbury on the north side.

Lower Thames Crossing executive director Matt Palmer said: “At a time of huge uncertainty for the industry this contract shows our commitment to this project, which will support thousands of jobs during its construction and provide a huge economic boost to the UK economy when it opens for traffic. 

“The scheme will relieve congestion at the Dartford Crossing by providing a new free-flowing road, almost doubling road capacity across the Thames and supporting sustainable local and regional economic growth.”

Highways England said that the planning application of the tunnel crossing was submitted on 23 October this year. 

The decision from the Secretary of State for Transport is expected in 2022 and the construction on the project is estimated to commence later the same year.


Tenders launched for 4.2km Lower Thames Crossing tunnel. (Credit: Highways England.)  

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