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U.K. Job Clears Contract Hurdle But Still Faces Political Hurdles

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Managers of London’s Crossrail railroad have chosen the final five of 24 design teams for the estimated $26-billion project, said to be Europe’s largest infrastructure job. Last month, Crossrail Ltd., short-listed five international consortiums to compete for the two main tunnel contracts, extending 18.1 km, with awards due by June. Preparatory work on the tunnels’ western portals, at Royal Oak, is due to start this month. The 118-km east-west railroad will include 21 km of twin, 6.2-m dia. tunnels under the city. All schedules could change after the government elections, which must be held before June. The opposition Conservative Party, running high in the polls, has vowed to cut public debt more vigorously than the current government.

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