Another major milestone for the £5.2 billion Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) was achieved today when Skanska finished excavating the giant one kilometre long concrete box in which Stratford International Station will be built.
Since work started in July 2001, 800,000 cubic metres of spoil has been removed and used to raise the ground level around the box by seven metres, a method that kept thousands of lorry movements off the road as it avoided depositing the spoil off-site. The raised ground will be commercially developed at a later stage.
Skanska’s £160 million contract to construct the complex box structure, working closely with CTRL designer and project manager Rail Link Engineering and client Union Railways North, is on the critical path of CTRL through London. Up to 25 metres deep and 50 metres wide, the box was the starting point for twin tunnels at both ends, which started being constructed last year after both end sections were completed on schedule.
Skanska used its unique range of in-house skills on the project, with its piling company constructing the box’s 2.5-km retaining wall in the UK’s largest ever foundation contract and its technology company responsible for design detailing.
Skanska will continue to work at the site until 2005 dealing with the spoil from the four tunnels in the same way as the box spoil. Skanska’s environmental team are also active in remediating spoil polluted during the period when the Stratford Box area was a major freight train yard.
Trains will start travelling on the London section of CTRL from St Pancras to Paris or Brussels via Stratford International Station in 2007.