HS2 Begins Search for Phase 2b Ground Investigation Contractors

HS2 has begun its search for a team of specialist ground investigation contractors for the western leg of Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester.

HS2 Phase 2b map section
HS2 Phase 2b map section

The single framework contract, worth approximately 300m GBP (350.88m euros | 416.32m USD), includes the appointment of a lead ground investigation partner supported by up to ten specialist ground investigation contractors.

The contract will allow HS2 to call on as much technical expertise as required depending on design needs and the outcome of the government’s Integrated Rail Plan. This expected to be published later this year.

Andrew Cubitt, HS2’s Procurement and Supply Chain Director, said:

“This framework agreement is an important step in our plans to bring HS2 to the north. It will enable us to procure a comprehensive body of ground investigation data to inform our future civil engineering works.

“The structure of the framework agreement means that more than ten contractors could benefit from the opportunities we are creating, which comes at a vital time for UK businesses seeking stability and growth as we strive to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Unexpected ground conditions are the most common cause for significant cost and programme overrun. The Phase 2b ground investigations programme is designed with the specific aim of reducing this risk.

In total, the ground investigation programme allows for more than 15,000 exploratory holes and will enable a model of the ground beneath the whole route to be developed. This geotechnical data will play a vital role in informing the design and construction of the railway and allows ground hazards to be addressed and managed effectively.

The procurement is for an initial eight-year framework, with the option to extend for a further two years. Bidders will be shortlisted towards the end of the year with the contract award expected in 2022.

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