Search begins for HS2 Phase 2b GI contractors

12 July 2021

Despite continuing uncertainties over the UK’s HS2 Phase 2b stretch from the Midlands to the North, HS2 Ltd has started the search for specialist ground investigation (GI) contractors.

Worth around £300m (US$415m), the single framework contract will include the appointment of a lead ‘ground investigation partner’ (worth up to £85m/US$117m) supported by up to 10 specialist GI contractors (package up to £215m/US$298m) to deliver the programme of work.

The ground investigation programme will involve more than 15,000 exploratory holes to allow a whole-route ground model to be created. HS2 Ltd said that a flexible approach will allow it to “call on as much technical expertise as required, depending on design needs and the outcome of the government’s Integrated Rail Plan, which is expected to be published later this year”.

HS2 Ltd stressed that the Phase 2b GI programme aims to reduce the technical and financial risk associated with ground conditions, particularly when unexpected eventualities result in cost and programme overruns.

Despite the launch of the contract opportunity, HS2 Ltd said it was not committed to any spending at this stage. It will compile a shortlist of bidders by the end of 2021, with the contract award expected in 2022.