THREE bidders have been shortlisted for the £370m contract to build the Interchange station on Britain’s High-Speed 2 (HS2) line near Birmingham Airport.

Laing O’Rourke, Skanska and Unity (a joint venture of Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick, supported by a subcontractor, WSP) have been shortlisted, with the contract due to be awarded next year. Up to 1000 new jobs will be supported by the contract.

The shortlist announcement follows the launch of a competition for the interested parties in June this year.

The construction site covers 150 hectares and is located within a triangle of land between three major roads. Already there has been construction of modular bridges of one of these roads and another nearby route and remodelling of the road network in the area to allow access to the new station.

When open, up to five trains an hour will serve Interchange in both directions, with an estimated 175,000 seats per day available.

HS2 Ltd and Arup have worked together to design the station to have net-zero emissions.

Interchange is part of growth plans for the area, being led by the Urban Growth Company, which aims to support 30,000 new jobs, up to 3000 new homes and 70,000m2 of commercial space.

Interchange station will be built as part of HS2 Phase One, which includes the line from London Euston to Delta Junction/Birmingham Curzon Street. This has an opening window of 2029-2033. Including Interchange, there will be four stations on Phase One: London Euston, Old Oak Common and Birmingham Curzon Street.

However, there remains concern that the eastern leg of HS2, from Delta Junction to Sheffield and Leeds via the east Midlands could be paused. A final decision is due when the Integrated Rail Plan is published. This is already almost 250 days late.

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