Architects, engineers and consultants bagged almost £10 million to develop the Rotherhithe crossing plans before Transport for London (TfL) shelved the scheme, it can be revealed
Information obtained by the AJ’s sister publication New Civil Engineer via a Freedom of Information request reveals that Atkins received the largest sum for the canned Thames river crossing.
The design giant – which employed bridge specialist Knight Architects as a subcontractor on the project – pocketed just under £5.5 million for providing advice on transport planning, as well as offering advice and assessment on engineering and architectural matters.
An electric ferry service tabled by Thames Clippers in conjunction with marine engineer Beckett Rankine is now being explored as a potential alternative (see below).
As revealed by New Civil Engineer last month, Atkins also carried out a value engineering exercise which suggested design changes could have shaved as much as £135 million off the final cost of the project.
TfL canned its plans for the River Thames crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf in June after the cost estimate rose to as much as £600 million. If it had gone ahead it would have been the world’s longest and tallest vertical lift bridge.
Design and engineering company Arcadis was paid just under £1.4 million for initial technical scoping for the bridge, while Costain received more than £900,000 for providing construction advice.
Mott McDonald also received £590,000 for providing environmental consultation, while the Institution of Civil Engineers was awarded £10,000 facilitating an independent review of the bridge options.
Full payment breakdown
|Company||Description of Scope||Cost|
|Arcadis||Initial technical scoping – Exploring the feasibility and requirements for navigable bridge options as well as work to review ferry and tunnel options.||£1,393,893|
|Systra||Modelling – Walking and cycling model audits for ferry, tunnel and bridge options||£ 83,489|
|AECOM||Business Case – Note on the economic impacts of ‘permanent’ infrastructure (ie bridge or tunnel) versus ‘non-permanent’ infrastructure (ie a ferry).||£4,911|
|Volterra||Business Case – Investigation into potential wider economic impacts that could be brought about by a new or enhanced river crossing in this location||£36,100|
|K&L Gates||Legal Services – Commercial law||£108,366|
|Birchman Dyson Bell||Legal Services – Planning and property law||£246,554|
|Queens Counsel Legal||Legal Services – QC advice on legal matters||£14,850|
|Atkins||Transport Planning – Advice assessment in relation to the transport impacts of the scheme and different options, including specialist input to design work and potential interventions to the wider walking and cycling network||£289,251|
|Mott MacDonald||Environmental Consultant – Advice and assessment in relation to the environmental impacts of the scheme and different options, including specialist input to design of environmental mitigations and enhancements.||£590,451|
|Quod||Town Planning – Advice and assessment in relation to town planning impacts of the scheme and different options, including specialist input to design work in terms of accessibility and open space.||£309,728|
|Atkins||Engineering and architecture – Advice and assessment on engineering and architectural matters, leading development of the concept design [Knight Architects - acted as bridge design speciialist subcontractor to Atkins]||£5,119,226|
|Marico||Marine - Advice and assessment in relation to marine and navigational impacts of the scheme including specialist input to design work.||£243,268|
|Costain||Construction - Advice in relation to csonstructability, construction impacts and construction methodology including assessment of different options.||£923,734|
|Institution of Civil Engineers||Facilitating an independent review and assessment of bridge options||£10,000|
|Urban Design London||Facilitating a Design Review Panel to undertake Independent Design Reviews of the scheme at various stages.||£32,998|
Meanwhile a team including Anthony Carlile Architects has presented an alternative proposal to London transport chiefs for electric ferries to carry cyclists and pedestrians across the same stretch of the River Thames.
The £30 million plans include extending an existing pontoon at Westferry Circus on the north bank and building a new floating platform on the south bank with a link to Nelson Dock.
The proposed ferry crossing would see self-charging electric ferries ploughing across the narrow stretch of water 24 hours a day, using an auto-mooring system to ensure a fast turnaround.
Other contributors to the proposals include ferry operator Thames Clippers, infrastructure specialist Beckett Rankine Marine Engineers and Brisbane navel architects Aus Yachts.
The flights of a ramp from Nelson Dock to Rotherhithe Street have been designed as a series of three objects floating in the dock. Each segment has a secondary function with either benches, drinking fountains or glass display cases and models telling the storey of the listed dock.
Transport for London has been contacted for comment about the ferry proposals.
Before either plan was considered Southwark-based ReForm Architects and engineer Elliott Wood drew up their own concept plans for a bascule-style bridge in roughly the same spot as the ditched crossing. However TfL opted instead to pursue the Knight/Atkins scheme.
Anthony Carlile and team’s proposals for ferries between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf