Twelve firms win Smart Motorway contracts

July 22 2015  

Twelve firms win Smart Motorway contracts
Six joint venture companies have been appointed by Highways England to design and build 10 Smart Motorway projects, representing a £1.55Bn investment.
 
Three contractor pairings are Balfour Beatty and VINCI, Costain / Galliford Try, and Carillion with Kier. Three designer joint ventures see CH2M and Hyder come together, Amey team up with Arup and Jacobs work alongside Atkins.
 
Three of the 10 Smart Motorway projects will start this autumn: on the M1 in Northamptonshire, M5 in Worcestershire and M6 in Staffordshire and Cheshire. The remainder will begin either in the next financial year or the one after.
 
Today’s announcement represents the second major procurement to be awarded under Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework, following the appointment of contractors and designers last month for the A14 improvement. 
 
Highways England’s Smart Motorway programme director Andy Watson explained that all 12 companies to win work today demonstrated a willingness to “do things differently” and a commitment to do all they can to save time on site to reduce disruption for motorists. “We are looking to work with suppliers who want to be more innovative and push themselves,” he said.
 
Encouraging bidders to team up in joint venture companies should help to spread knowledge and reduce risk in project delivery, he added.
 
Balfour Beatty and VINCI will deliver the M5 scheme between junctions 4a and 6 (starting 2015) as well as Smart Motorway upgrades to the M4 in London and Berkshire between junctions 3 and 12 (starting 2016/17) and on the M6 in the Midlands between junctions 2 and 4 (2017/18).
 
Costain and Galliford Try will work on the M1 Smart Motorway in Northamptonshire between junctions 16 and 19 (starting 2015) as well as on the M1 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire between junctions 13 and 16 (starting 2016/17) and on the M1 in the East Midlands between junctions 24 and 25 (also 2016/17).
 
Carillion and Kier will work on the M6 in Staffordshire and Cheshire between junctions 16 and 19 (starting 2015) and have won three further contracts: on the M6 in Staffordshire (junction 13 to 15), the M20 in Kent (junctions 3 to 5) and on the M23 in Surrey and West Sussex (junctions 8 to 10.) All three of these schemes are expected to start in 2017/18.
 
Roads Minister Andrew Jones said: “As part of our long term economic plan we are investing more than £1.5Bn over the next five years in upgrading congested sections of motorway. This means better journeys for millions of people across the country. This is good for the economy and good for Britain.”
 
♦ News of the Smart Motorway contracts came shortly after Chancellor George Osborne launched a spending review aimed at delivering £20Bn of further savings across Government.
 
Departments including Transport are being asked to model scenarios for achieving 25% and 40% savings within their resource budgets by 2019-20 ahead of the spending review’s publication on 25 November.
 
A spokesman for the Department for Transport declined to comment on where savings may need to be made.
 
(Photo: Highways England)

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