Construction of the tunnel under the English Channel is roughly on schedule and within budget, a cochairman of the Anglo-French building consortium Eurotunnel said Wednesday.
Alastair Morton acknowledged that certain aspects of the construction of the 31-mile rail tunnel under the English Channel have fallen behind schedule, but said none of the delays so far led him to believe the tunnel will not open in 1993 as planned.The start of tunneling on the French side was delayed when a supplier for the boring machine went bankrupt and the machinery had to be finished in the United States, but he said the machine is now in place and will resume boring shortly.
Boring on the English side of the channel began as planned Dec. 1 and is progressing on schedule, he said.
The main problem on the British side is the country's shortage of skilled labor, Mr. Morton said. As a result, British contractors are hiring overseas, he said.
Mr. Morton said Eurotunnel has spent about 300 million, or $525 million, of the 750 million it raised in a stock offering last year.
Eurotunnel must use up the funds raised in the offering before it can
draw on 5 billion in bank loans also arranged last year.
Eurotunnel is basically within budget and won't draw on the bank loans until the end of 1988, Mr. Morton said.