Transport Secretary Philip Hammond today visited what will be the first station of the exciting Crossrail project at Canary Wharf.
The Transport Secretary saw for himself visible evidence of the progress made in construction work over the last year. He was impressed at the approach to the work so far, applying innovative technology and construction techniques to drive down costs and reduce environmental impact.
Philip Hammond said:
I came to visit the Crossrail project today (15 June 2010) to signal my intention to press ahead with the major improvements in our transport system that business and passengers need. The work being carried out at Canary Wharf is an excellent example of how this can be done in an innovative and efficient way, so that we get value for taxpayers’ money.
We live in difficult economic times, but that does not mean that we should scrap big projects which would give the economy a vital boost in the future. But it does mean that we must ensure that every pound we invest is well spent. I am determined that this scheme remains affordable - Londoners, business and the taxpayer would expect nothing less.
Mr Hammond met Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan, Rob Holden, Crossrail Chief Executive, George Iacobescu, Chief Executive of Canary Wharf Group plc, Peter Anderson, Managing Director of Finance at Canary Wharf Group and Cliff Bryant, Chief Executive Director of Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, on his first official visit as Transport Secretary to a Crossrail construction site. The majority of works on the 74 mile route are due to be completed in 2017.
Notes to editors
On 15 May 2009 the first tubular 61 foot long pile was lowered at the site of Canary Wharf Station, signalling the start of construction on the Crossrail project. Since then a further 296 tubular piles, encasing 61 foot long concrete piles, and various supporting piles, ties, links and construction platforms have been installed in North Dock at Canary Wharf, forming a 4 foot wide coffer dam holding back the water outside of the work site.
In February the pumps to remove approximately 98 million litres of water (over 40 Olympic swimming pools) from inside the work site at up to 800,000 litres per hour were started and now all of this water has now been successfully removed, revealing a work site that is 840 foot long and 33 foot below the level of the surrounding dock water.
The next stages in the work include excavation of the dock bed to create a base slab to form the top of the ticket concourse, followed by top down construction of the lower slab and the Station Platform 82 foot below. Canary Wharf Group plans to have the station box ready for the tunnel boring machines in summer 2012 with the station box complete and handed over in 2015.
The use of Giken piling techniques to drain the dock is part of the innovative construction techniques being employed at the site by Canary Wharf Group, the first time specialist Giken machinery enabling more effective draining of the dock has been used in the UK.
Crossrail will run 74 miles from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 13 mile tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 60 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts. When Crossrail begins it’s phased delivery in 2017 it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London’s position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.
Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits for all of London and the South East after the new railway opens from 2017. A study published in February 2009 assessed the key benefits including faster journey times, reduced and public transport congestions, improved productivity and higher earnings.
Up to 14,000 people will be employed at the peak of construction in 2013/2015 and Crossrail will facilitate employment growth of up 30,000 jobs by 2026 in central London.
Crossrail services will begin from 2017, new 10-carriage trains carrying at least 1,500 passengers will travel through the 13 mile long tunnels, significantly reducing journey times between Heathrow, the West End, the City and Canary Wharf and providing new journey opportunities and much needed additional transport capacity.
Canary Wharf Group (CWG) plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies. It is focused on the design, construction, leasing and management of Grade A office space and high quality retail and leisure facilities on its 97 acre Estate in East London.
Over the past 20 years CWG has regenerated derelict wharves into one of the world’s premier business districts, constructing over 15 million sq ft of office and retail space - more than any other company in London.
Canary Wharf is home to some of the world’s leading business organisations, including in the professional services; media, law, energy, financial services and transport sectors. It is also home to over 200 shops, bars, cafes and restaurants - including many of Britain’s leading brands. The working population is approximately 93,000.
The estate includes 20 acres of landscaped parks and plazas. Canary Wharf hosts over 180 events a year and has one of the UK’s largest collections of public art.
As at 30 June 2009 the Canary Wharf Group investment portfolio was 97.7 per cent let. The weighed average unexpired lease length was 16.9 years.
CWG was named one of the Sunday Times Best 60 Green Companies in the UK in 2009.
Canary Wharf is set for further expansion. In 2009, CWG commenced work on the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station and has continued work on a new European Headquarters for J P Morgan. The opening by KPMG, State Street and Fitch Ratings of new office buildings on the Estate in 2009 and 2010 will also bring thousands of new workers to Canary Wharf on a daily basis.