Jacobs has secured the integration partner contract for the Lower Thames Crossing, a proposed road tunnel project in the UK.

The £162.5m contract was awarded by Highways England.

As agreed, Jacobs will facilitate collaboration between Highways England and the Lower Thames Crossing’s three main works contracts.

The work will include programme management, stakeholder management and risk management to ensure objectives are met within the deadline and budget.

Once complete, the Lower Thames Crossing will be the longest road tunnel in the UK, doubling road capacity across the River Thames, east of London.

It will include 14.3 miles of new road, featuring two 2.6-mile-long tunnels.

The scheme will offer connections to the A2 and M2 in Kent on the south side of the river, as well as to the A13 in Thurrock and the M25 in Havering on the northern side.

Lower Thames Crossing executive director said: “The construction of the crossing will generate 22,000 jobs, and will connect the midlands to the Channel ports, providing a boost to the UK economy as part of post Covid-19 recovery. This contract award is the first step in that journey.

“Jacobs will be joining us as a partner, bringing world-wide best practice in large infrastructure programmes to supplement Highways England’s outstanding record in successful project delivery.”

Jacobs People & Places Solutions senior vice-president Europe and Digital Strategies Donald Morrison said: “We are united around the Lower Thames Crossing’s vision to improve transport connections and boost regional economic growth opportunities, and look forward to driving strategic collaboration with Highways England and their key partners on this critical component in the UK’s future transport infrastructure.”

Last year, Highways England released a revised plan to build the Lower Thames Crossing.