Construction of HS2 set to begin

Leo Quinn
Leo Quinn

JOINT venture Balfour Beatty VINCI has confirmed it has received notification from High Speed 2 (HS2) to proceed with its two main civil engineering contracts, worth a combined total of around £5 billion.

Following Notice to Proceed, the joint venture will commence the full detailed design and construction of both schemes.

The scope of works includes earthworks, ground engineering, viaducts and tunnels along a 90km stretch between the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel in the south to the West Coast Main Line tie-in near Litchfield in the north with a major junction into central Birmingham at Curzon Street.

Notice to Proceed marks a major milestone in the project, which will create thousands of employment opportunities.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group chief executive said, “HS2 is a transformational infrastructure scheme, underpinning both the economic resilience and future growth of the nation, during these unprecedented and challenging times. Notice to Proceed provides certainty for many businesses up and down the UK, and will drive investment in skills and capability for current and future generations.”

Balfour Beatty revealed preparatory works are due to start ‘imminently’ with main construction to begin in earnest in the second quarter of 2021. The contractor added that all sites will be fully compliant with UK Government guidance for safe working practices in relation to social distancing.

At its peak, a workforce of over 8,000 will be involved in delivering the scheme. Balfour Beatty VINCI will also offer around 400 apprenticeship and graduate opportunities.