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Capita Symonds wins Crossrail design contract

Crossrail has appointed the multidisciplinary Capita Symonds to design the Royal Oak Portal on the £15.9bn Crossrail scheme which will span the west to east axis of London.

The £3m contract is the first to be awarded by Crossrail via the Crossrail Design Consultant Framework – the contracting mechanism being used to deliver the designs for all infrastructure in the central tunnel section of the scheme. Capita Symonds won a place on the framework for three lots - tunnels, portals and central stations - late last year.

A multidisciplinary Capita Symonds team - including civils, architecture and M&E engineering – will work on the project which lies to the west of Paddington and will provide a transition from the overground to the underground sections of Crossrail.

The portal - one of four on the Crossrail programme - is particularly critical to Crossrail because it is the structure for the launch of the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) for the Central West Tunnel sections. As construction is due to start early in 2010, the design is being undertaken on a fast track basis with preparatory works due to begin on site in June.

The site - which is constrained by its narrow width and also by the clearances under the existing Lord Hill’s, Ranelagh and Westbourne Bridges - is bounded by the Westbourne Park Worksite (west), Paddington Goods Yard (east), A40 Westway / Harrow Road (north) and the LU Hammersmith and City Line and Network Rail Great Western mainlines (south). The package of work is for the provision of RIBA D, E, and F designs and all planning and environmental consents for the portal. Specific design work includes:

• Tunnel portal structure;
• Propped, retained cut to the west of the portal, including the barrel arch roof;
• Retained cut, taking the railway to grade;
• Escape and intervention facilities at the portal, including surface holding area;
• Plant rooms at the portal and associates service routes;
• E&M services to provide the necessary power, lighting, ventilation etc to support the operation of the plant rooms and the escape and intervention facilities;
• Flood protection structures;
• Attenuation tank for surface water discharge;
• Above ground structure for plant rooms and escape;
• Access road and parking for emergency vehicles;
• Relocation of Marcon Sewer;
• New foul and surface water connections;
• Provision of construction space to assemble and operate TBMs for tunnel construction, including spoil removal and segment delivery and storage.

Crossrail – which is due to open in 2017 - will be the largest transport scheme seen in London and the South East for 50 years, as well as being the biggest construction project in Europe. Designed to join the Great Western and Great Eastern railway networks, the project comprises a 118 km rail link running from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in London’s east end.

New stations, able to accommodate ten carriage trains, will also be built at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Isle of Dogs and Woolwich. At the height of construction it is estimated that around 14,000 people will be employed on the project.

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