January 2016

Lower Thames Crossing

The public consultation for the final decision on type of infrastructure for the Lower Thames Crossing was opened on 26 January 2016, by Highways England.

Rendel, as part of the CH2M (Halcrow)/Arcadis (Hyder) consortium engaged to work on the multi-billion pound scheme, were responsible for the immersed tube tunnel options put forward. Rendel are heartened by Highways England’s recommendation to take the scheme forward.

The bored tunnel option, with an estimated cost of up to £5.5bn, has been chosen as this will have far less impact on the neighbouring SSSI/Ramsar sites. If this option is chosen the tunnel will be two miles long and form part of a 15 mile long new road. It will be a dual carriageway, twin-bored tunnel. An additional lane in each direction will be considered to account for future traffic load increases.

Assessments by Highways England have identified the location of the crossing to be just east of Gravesend and Tilbury. This location, named 'Location C' is more favoured and more economically beneficial than the alternative location near the existing Dartford crossing.

The public consultation will also seek comments about three alternative routes from the end of the M2 to the crossing.

Rendel has particular expertise in immersed tube tunnels, as well as bored tunnels, and is looking forward to continuing its involvement in the project. Previous tunnels which Rendel has worked on include the Thames Tideway Tunnel tender, Femern Tunnel tender, the new Tyne Tunnel, Genoa harbour crossing tunnels and the Bosphorus Metro.