Senior managers at Crossrail have been working very hard to try and cut the costs of the Crossrail high speed rail transport scheme over the last few months, and according to the announcement made by Crossrail programme director, Andy Mitchell, at a British Tunnelling Society meeting, it would appear that the spending cuts have been extremely successful.
The original Crossrail project was projected to cost around £17 billion, but in the wake of the government’s comprehensive spending review, the completion date was rolled back to save money and Crossrail embarked on a value engineering cost savings initiative.
Thankfully, as a result of a lot of hard work from senior Crossrail management, schemes such as the Optimised Contractor Involvement Initiative have helped to reduce the overall cost of the Crossrail project to a far healthier £14 billion.
“We have been able to refine ideas and take up proposals from unsuccessful tenders to deliver £50M of cost reductions already,” said Andy Mitchell last night, although Theresa Villiers had already confirmed in July that the government were now confident that Crossrail would cost no more than £14.5 billion by the time the mammoth project reaches completion. “Forecasts continue to suggest that Crossrail will be delivered within its existing funding,” she said.
Andy Mitchell is apparently very happy with the progress of the Crossrail project and the first tunnel boring machine is expected on site in December, ready for tunnel boring to begin at Paddington in March 2012.
“I am very impressed at the rate at which work on site is picking up and progressing,” Mitchell commented. “Next year will see real developments as far as tunnel construction is concerned.”
In order to keep a rein on costs, all contractors must go through a rigorous checking procedure before they are allowed to move on to any of the Crossrail construction sites. And as Andy Mitchell commented, “No one is going to open up a big hole in London without me knowing all about it.”