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Rotherhithe bridge: ReForm pledges to fight for role

re form rotherhithe bridge
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ReForm Architects, whose designs for a bridge between the Isle of Dogs and Canada Water were snubbed by London’s mayor last month, has said it will fight on to see its concept built

ReForm has registered designs for the east London crossing after working speculatively for four years on the project alongside engineers Elliott Wood and Buro Happold.

But mayor of London and TfL chair Sadiq Khan announced last month that an open procurement process would be held for a Design and Build contractor for the project, saying existing plans were ‘a number of years old now’ and could be bettered.

The mayor added that Arcadis had already been appointed to a key design role on the pedestrian and cyclist crossing.

But ReForm Architects managing director Nik Randall told the AJ that the battle for work on the bridge was far from over.

He said: ‘We have a very popular design so we just hope the tender process gives us a chance to bid when the time comes.

‘We have a very strong team with a proven design and, after over four years of work on this project, a huge amount of knowledge of the complex technical issues involved, so we are a very strong option for any contractors who decide to bid.

‘As long as the bid process does not preclude us, we will certainly compete for the project.’

Elliott Wood Engineers director Gary Elliott added: ‘Together with ReForm Architects, Elliott Wood has been instrumental in developing the engineering concept and design of our Rotherhithe Bridge for four years but we have now invited the bridge engineers at Buro Happold to supplement the team.

‘We are looking forward to working with them and contractors through the design and build process to show Transport for London how efficient and economic our design really is.’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan appeared to snub the team’s designs last month when he said: ‘TfL recognises that things move very quickly.

‘There is a design out there which is a number of years old now so one of the reasons TfL is keen to have the procurement process is because there could be innovations around the world that could be lead to something quicker, cheaper and of higher quality.’

Khan added: ‘TfL has appointed Arcadis to develop the designs and ensure the scheme is cost effective – for example what type of bridge it will be.’

The mayor said a public procurement process for a design and build partner would start this autumn.

‘I am hoping those who will bid for the design and build contract will have noted that I want it done as soon as possible,’ he added. ‘We are talking about 2020/21 but if someone is able to do it sooner, their application could be considered more favourably than someone’s who is going to take longer.’

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