River Transport Saves 20,000 Lorry trips from Canary Wharf Crossrail Site

Over 20,000 lorry trips can be taken off East London and Essex roads over the next two years, thanks to plans by Canary Wharf Contractors Limited (CWC) to maximise use of river barges to transport excavated materials from the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station worksite.

Construction of the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station, which began on 15 May 2009, requires over 150,000 cubic metres of materials to be excavated, equating to almost 300,000 tonnes.

Cliff Bryant, Executive Director of CWC, said:

“The preference is to test and re-use as much excavated material as possible onsite. We think we can re-use around a third, and the rest will predominantly be taken by barge to the Veolia site at Holehaven Creek.”

“As with all our construction sites, we aim to minimise impact on the environment and local community. Using the river barges avoids congestion on the roads and noise and air pollution. It can also help with the pace of construction,” he said.

The excavated material will be transported downstream to the Veolia Environmental Services Pitsea landfill site at Holehaven Creek. The first barge arrived at Pitsea on 23 July 2009.

This material will help to restore Pitsea site from a landfill to high quality land for conservation and controlled public access, without disturbing the nearby tidal mudflats, which are a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI).

Gaining access to the Pitsea site required a half a million pound refit of the Lower Wharf and followed consultation with Natural England, RSPB and other members of the Barge Impact Study Group to ensure the proposals would not disturb the black tailed godwit, which feed nearby. The RSPB will continue to monitor this habitat while the Lower Wharf is in use.

Paul Levett, Deputy Chief Executive, Veolia Environmental Services, says:

“Veolia is very much in favour of the Crossrail project and the economic and social benefits it will bring to the south east. It also provides us with this exciting opportunity to re-open the Lower Wharf – and use river transport to Pitsea once again – this time for the restoration materials to make sure we can achieve our objective of providing high quality land for nature conservation and controlled public access once the site is restored.

“Veolia’s other river contracts include moving municipal solid waste from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Olympic construction site waste.”

The soils are loaded into four 350 tonne capacity barges and towed by tug to a buoy at the entrance to Holehaven Creek. A smaller tug then delivers two barges at a time to the refurbished wharf – which has to be accurately timed to coincide with the high tides.

Using a special long-reach excavator, the soil is unloaded into 25 tonne dumper trucks for transport across the site and stockpiling ready for use in the restoration of the landfill. In total, five million tonnes of soils will be needed to restore the site by 2017, ready for public access and nature conservation.

Canary Wharf Group plc, of which CWC is a wholly owned subsidiary, was named one of the Sunday Times 60 Best Green Companies in the UK in 2009.

About the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station

Images are available for download at www.crossrail.co.uk/pages/mediaimagelibrary.html

Like the nearby Canary Wharf Tube station, the new Crossrail station will be built in a dock, in this case the North Dock of West India Quay. The station will be six storeys high. Retail areas are planned for four of the six storeys including a landscaped, restaurant and community facility on the top floor. The station is covered by an elegant, semi open-air timber lattice roof allowing views out over the dock, Canary Wharf and beyond.

To enable construction of the station box, 396 steel piles measuring 18.5 metres high and 1.2 metres wide will be sunk into the dock floor using 10 storey high piling cranes and Giken Piling machines. This is the first time this type of machinery has been used in the UK, although it is extensively used in Japan. The Giken piling is expected to be completed later this year. In early 2010 water will then be pumped out of the piled structure to enable a concrete wall to be built as part of the next stage of construction.

North Quay will be the worksite for the new Crossrail station at Canary Wharf. The station box is expected to be completed and handed over to Crossrail by summer 2012. When works are completed the site will be handed back to Canary Wharf Group to enable development of office space at North Quay, which already has planning permission. This development will be demand-led.

The station box will be 260 metres long – which is greater than the height of the UK’s tallest building One Canada Square – and will be between 27 metres and 30 metres wide.

Canary Wharf Group will construct Canary Wharf Crossrail station for a fixed price of £500 million. £350 million of the station’s £500 million costs will be met from Crossrail’s £15.9bn budget with CWG bearing the risk in relation to costs above the fixed price limit.

CWG’s contribution of £150 million will be applied against future Crossrail Section 106 contributions for certain agreed sites which may be required as proposed alterations to the London Plan.

Canary Wharf Group and its predecessor organisations have a long history of supporting transport projects in London, including the original Docklands Light Railway link and the Jubilee Line Extension.

The lead contractor and project manager is Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canary Wharf Group.

Laing O’Rourke’s Expanded Division is the preferred bidder for the enabling and civil engineering works.

The station’s retail scheme is designed by Foster + Partners, architects of the award-winning Canary Wharf Tube station.

The station itself is designed by Tony Meadows and Associates.

The park scheme is designed by Gillespies, one of the UK’s foremost landscape designers.

The structural engineering and building services is undertaken by Arup.

About Canary Wharf Group plc

Canary Wharf Contractors Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG).

CWG 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 square feet of office and retail space – more than any other company in London.

Canary Wharf is home to many 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 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 31 December 2008 the vacancy rate for Canary Wharf owned office space was 0.3%. The average unexpired lease length was 18 years.

Canary Wharf is set for further expansion. In 2008, CWG signed agreements to commence work on the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station and to continue work on a new European Headquarters for J.P. Morgan. KPMG, State Street and Fitch Ratings open new office buildings on the Estate in 2009 and 2010, bringing thousands of new workers to Canary Wharf on a daily basis.

CWG was named one of the Sunday Times 60 Best Green Companies in the UK in 2009.


Ruth Roll
Ruth Roll Environmental Communications Ltd (on behalf of Veolia Environmental Services)
Tel: 01327 844074
Email: ruth@rrec.freeserve.co.uk

Images are available on request.