A U.S.-led joint venture that includes AECOM and CH2M Hill beat two other short-listed teams headed by Bechtel Ltd. and by Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd. to win an estimated $140-million program management contract for London�s vast new Crossrail project.

The project cost has been put at an estimated $22 billion.

The winning team, called Transcend, will "work along side [us] as part of an integrated client team to manage the overall programme," says Steve Rowsell, head of procurement for project owner Cross London Rail Links Ltd.

Transcend also includes U.K.-based Nichols Group Ltd.

Primary construction on the estimated $22-billion project is due to start next year and end in 2017. The project will upgrade railroads on either side of London and link them with 21 km of twin tunnels through the city's center.