The design contracts relating to the development of high speed rail from Crewe to Manchester, and from the West Midlands to Yorkshire have been awarded, with CH2M selected as the phase two development partner for HS2.
Three more contracts relating to engineering and environmental support have been given to Arup, a joint venture between AECOM, Capita and INECO, and a Mott MacDonald and WSP joint venture to help progress the design.
The appointments are a major milestone for the high speed rail project and comes after an 11-month competitive process, during which seven multi-national bidders were invited to tender for four packages of work.
The appointed companies will provide the engineering and environmental advice needed to take forward the development of the route north of Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Yorkshire, with a hybrid Bill – essentially the planning application for this part of the route – expected to be presented to Parliament in 2019.
The Government gave the go ahead for the sections of the route, between Crewe and Manchester, and Birmingham and Leeds, via Sheffield and the East Midlands, subject to some specific route refinements which are under consultation, in November last year.
The dedicated high speed lines are planned to open in 2033.
Alison Munro, HS2 managing director for development, said: “This contract awards mark an important milestone for HS2, giving us the expert resource needed to progress the second phase of the project and bring high speed rail to Manchester and Leeds by 2033.
“Our new partners bring a wealth of recent experience on some of the world’s most challenging and complex infrastructure projects and I look forward to working with them to ensure that HS2 can benefit from the experience and innovation they have to offer.”