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Contract race starts as cost of giant aqueduct job hits £1.75bn

United Utilities has published an official contract notice for the upgrade of the 110km Haweswater Aqueduct from Cumbria to Greater Manchester.

The estimated cost of the Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme is £1.75bn – way above the original estimates of £1bn.

Work involves the replacement of six tunnel sections of the existing aqueduct and ongoing maintenance of those works for the next 25 years.

The job will be contracted using a reinvented design, build and finance model.

The winning contractor or joint venture will be appointed under a bespoke project agreement with United Utilities for 25 years plus the construction period.

Up to three bidders will be put on a shortlist and firms can register their interest by August 17 here.