Crossrail is looking to renegotiate the pay and incentives of Bechtel, its delivery partner, amid concerns they are no longer offering “value for money”.
Crossrail is angling to restructure the pay of Bechtel to “support the delivery of the revised schedule”, TfL board papers released earlier this week reveal.
The £17.6bn Elizabeth Line was due to open last December but has been pushed back to a six-month window between October 2020 and March 2021.
All of the stations on the line, which will stretch from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, should be completed before the railway opens, with the exception of Bond Street, which is due to open in 2021.
Crossrail hired Bechtel as its project delivery partner in 2009 to act as lead contractor, co-ordinating the activities of other contractors on the central section of the railway.
Because the fit-out of stations is mostly complete, fewer contractors are now on site, meaning the remaining work is now safety and assurance work.
The TfL papers read: “The Project Delivery Partner (PDP) contract was awarded to Bechtel Limited in April 2009 obliging the PDP to provide services against a scope, an annual service delivery plan and a schedule of deliverables.
“In addition, an incentive scheme that aimed at driving specific behaviours around cost, time and quality was included.
“The recent changes to the project delivery schedule have caused CRL to consider if the existing PDP incentive remains effective. The CRL [Crossrail] board has concluded that a revision would be value for money and authorised its executive to enter into negotiation with Bechtel.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that Crossrail was spending nearly £13m a year on drivers who are spending their time practising as they wait for the delayed railway to open.
A spokesperson for Crossrail said: “The Elizabeth line is one of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK. We share the frustration of Londoners that the huge benefits of the Elizabeth line are not yet with us.
“As we move towards completion, it’s important that we continue to revise all aspects of the project to reflect the current programme and complete the outstanding works to bring the railway into passenger service at the earliest opportunity. Everyone involved in the Crossrail project is fully focused on ensuring the Elizabeth line is completed as quickly as possible.”
Bechtel declined to comment.