London’s transportation authority has secured approval to go ahead with a design, build, finance and maintain project for a 1.4 km twin highway tunnel under the River Thames between Greenwich and Silvertown.

Transport for London aims to selected the preferred bidder from a shortlist of only two this year aiming to start construction during 2019.

Spain’s Cintra Global Ltd., Hochtief PPP Solutions GmbH,. Germany, and a joint venture of Skanska and Strabag made it to the shortlist last year. However the Skanska team later withdrew.

Estimated to cost $1.4 billion, the twin 10.9-m-dia. bored tunnels will head north-east from a the Greenwich Peninsula. Its south portal will be located a few hundred meters south of the entrance to the existing Blackwall Tunnel under the Thames, which it will relieve. The new tunnel is due to open in 2023.