In 2016, Cornerstone Projects conducted a survey of construction industry professionals on the prevalence and costs of delays in major construction projects. The survey highlighted that fact the delays were not only a regular occurrence but the financial knock on effects were also significant.
A significant amount has changed since 2016 but has the industry made any significant improvements or are delays still causing the same old problems.
To answer this question we have updated the survey and will be producing the results shortly, submissions will stop shortly but if you would like to have your say, please click here.
But what else has changed since 2016? What major construction projects have started since 2017 and what other factors has the industry had to endure during the last 5 years?
The UK has seen a number of large construction projects get underway in the last five years. These include the Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station, the Crossrail project in London and the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station.
These ambitious projects are helping to shape the future of the UK’s infrastructure and economy, and are providing a boost to the construction industry. With so much happening, it can be hard to keep track of all the progress being made.
That’s why we’ve put together this blog post, which takes a look at some of the biggest construction projects that have started in the UK since 2017. Read on to find out more about these fascinating developments.
Crossrail Infrastructure Project
At the height of its construction, Crossrail was the largest infrastructure project in Europe and is expected to have a significant impact on travel within London and the surrounding areas.
The project involves the construction of a new railway line running through Central London from Reading and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. Construction began in 2015 and should be completed in May 2023.
The first phase of the £19 billion Elizabeth Line, running through Berkshire, Central London and Essex, finally opened in May 2022 after countless delays and disruptions. The second phase, launching on the 6th of November, will connect Central London with Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield.
Commuters can now travel directly across the capital, reducing journey times and improving accessibility. The third and final stage will take travellers from Reading and Heathrow Airport to west London and all the way to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in southeast London.
The final route will go through 41 stations, including ten new stations (such as, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Canary Wharf.)
The tunnelling for this ambitious project progressed at an average pace of 38 metres per day with a total of 42km of new rail tunnel to form the Elizabeth line. The brand-new British Rail Class trains are twice the length of regular tube trains and can carry up to 1,500 passengers at a time.
The Thames Tideway sewer infrastructure project is a major upgrade to London’s sewer system. It started in 2016, and the pandemic caused the construction work to be delayed by nine months.
It is expected to cost around £4.2 billion (US$6.4 billion) and is scheduled to be completed in 2023. London’s current sewage system relies mainly on Victorian sewers, built in the late 19th century.
The new super sewer project includes the construction of a new 25-kilometre tunnel under the River Thames, and the upgrading of several existing treatments works. The project will help to improve the water quality in the River Thames and reduce flooding in London.
Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station
Hinkley Point C is a nuclear power station currently under construction in the United Kingdom. It will be the first nuclear power station built in the UK for 20 years, and there will be two reactors, each with a capacity of 1,650 megawatts.
The Hinkley Point nuclear projects have been controversial due to high construction costs and the use of Chinese technology, but it is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s total electricity supply when completed.
The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is being built by EDF Energy, with support from the Chinese government. The project is expected to cost £24 billion (US$32 billion), and will take 10 years to complete.
Heathrow Airport Expansion
The Heathrow Airport expansion project is a £14 billion project that will see the construction of a third runway and related infrastructure at the airport.
The expansion is expected to increase capacity at the airport by up to 50% and create up to 77,000 new jobs. The project has been controversial, with opponents arguing that it will lead to increased noise and air pollution and that it is not the best way to improve capacity at the UK’s airports.
The government has said that the expansion is essential for the UK’s economy and will be delivered in a way that minimises environmental impacts.
Battersea Power Station
The Battersea Power Station redevelopment project is one of the most ambitious and exciting regeneration projects in London.
The Grade II* listed power station and its surrounding 42 acres of land are being transformed into a unique new destination, comprising office space, homes, shops, restaurants, bars, hotels, leisure facilities and open spaces.
When complete, the redevelopment will create up to 18,000 new jobs and provide much-needed housing in the capital. It will also bring new life to this iconic building, which has been derelict for over 30 years.
The first phase of the redevelopment is now complete, with the power station itself having been transformed into a spectacular events space. The second phase is well underway, with the construction of new office buildings and homes.
Once complete, the Battersea Power Station redevelopment will be a truly world-class destination.
London Bridge Station
The London bridge redevelopment project is a large-scale regeneration project that is currently underway in the London Borough of Southwark.
The aim of the project is to create a new mixed-use neighbourhood around London Bridge Station, which is one of the busiest transport hubs in the UK. The redevelopment will include new office buildings, homes, shops, restaurants, and public spaces.
The project is being delivered by a joint venture between Transport for London and the British property development company, Argent.
High Speed Rail 2 (HSR2) is a proposed high-speed railway line in the United Kingdom connecting London with cities in the North of England and Scotland.
If built, HSR2 would be one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK. The project is currently in the planning stages, with construction expected to begin in 2026 and the line expected to be operational by 2032.
HSR2 would provide a new, high-capacity north-south rail link in the UK, complementing the existing east-west High Speed 1 (HS1) line. HSR2 would have the capacity to carry up to 18 trains per hour in each direction – double the capacity of HS1.
The new line would significantly reduce journey times between London and cities in the North of England and Scotland, with journey times from London to Manchester reduced from 2 hours 8 minutes to 1 hour 28 minutes, and journey times from London to Leeds reduced from 2 hours 36 minutes to 1 hour 32 minutes.
The HSR2 project is estimated to cost £56 billion (US$70 billion), making it one of the most expensive infrastructure projects ever proposed in the UK. The project has been controversial, with critics questioning the need for a new high-speed rail line and highlighting the high cost of the project.
However, supporters argue that HSR2 would bring significant economic benefits to the UK, boosting regional economies and improving connectivity between London and the rest of the country.
Cornerstone Projects and major UK construction projects
Major UK construction projects cost a lot of money – and often fall over budget due to delays, disruptions and unforeseen issues.
Here at Cornerstone Projects, we use our tried-and-tested internal processes to carry out utility plans so you can avoid some of those costly challenges later down the line. We might not build nuclear power plants or entire railways – but we do help to avoid expensive damage to underground plants along with the costs following delays and disruptions.
We take the hassle out of the underground utility search process – from electricity cables and gas pipes to water mains and sewers.
Brought in to help take the business to the next level, Jim’s role is to improve lead generation and customer satisfaction from over 3,500 registered clients. Jim loves interacting with potential and existing clients and has a wealth of marketing and sales experience through his previous roles at O2, the RAC and TalkTalk. Jim holds a BA (Hons) Business Studies degree majoring in Marketing. He has also become a regular visitor to the UEFA Champions League final of late 😉