View onto M62
Image Source: Igniseus
Nick Hill

Highway England’s £1.5bn motorway project signs trio of contracts

A major project to reduce the amount of congestion on the UK’s motorways is now set to begin.

So far, there has been a trio of contracts signed to deliver Highways England’s three packages within its £1.5bn Smart Motorway Programme.

Firstly, Balfour Beatty, the infrastructure group, has embarked on a joint venture with VINCI, a global concessions and construction firm, to work on a smart motorway package worth up to £607.4m.

Balfour Beatty VINCI, a 60:40 joint venture, will deliver smart motorway upgrades to a 10 mile stretch of the M5 Junctions 4a to 6 in Worcestershire; a 12 mile section of the M6 Junctions 2 to 4 in the Midlands, and a 32 mile stretch of the M4 Junctions 3 to 12 in London and Berkshire.

Furthermore, Carillion and Kier Group are also teaming up to deliver a smart motorway package worth £475m, which will see the transformation of four sections of motorway, including the M6 between Junctions 16 and 19 and the M6 between Junctions 13 and 15, on the M20 between Junctions 3 and 5 and on the M23 between Junctions 8 and 10.

The Infrastructure business of Galliford Try, the housebuilding and construction group, business has, has joined Costain as a delivery partner for a third smart motorway package worth in excess of £300m.

This programme will see 292 extra lane miles added to motorways, the hard shoulder will be converted to a traffic lane and signing and technology will tell drivers what speed to drive at, if lanes are blocked or closed and about incidents up ahead.

The construction package includes upgrading the M1 J19 to J16 Smart Motorway in Northamptonshire, starting this autumn at a value of £65m. The two firms will also construct two future schemes: the M1 J24 to J25 in the East Midlands, and the M1 J13 to J16 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Both are expected to commence in 2016/17 at an estimated combined value of up to £302m.

Andrew Wyllie CBE, Chief Executive of Costain, commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded this further programme of works for Highways England.

“Costain’s unique focus on supporting major blue chip customers through long-term, collaborative contracts, and the implementation of innovative technology-led solutions makes us a partner of choice in delivering essential national transport needs.”

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