Highways England has appointed six joint-venture companies to design and build 10 ‘smart motorways’ across England as part of a £1.5 billion investment.
Three of these projects will start in autumn this year: 2 in the Midlands – M1 J19 to J16 in Northamptonshire and the M5 J4a to J6 in Worcestershire, and 1 in the North West – M6 J16 to J19 near Stoke-on-Trent.
The smart motorway schemes, part of the £15 billion government investment Highways England is delivering between now and 2021, 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.
Construction contractors appointed are Balfour Beatty and VINCI* joint venture, Costain and Galliford Try joint venture, and Carillion and Kier joint venture. With designers being CHM2 and Hyder joint venture, Amey and Arup joint venture, and Jacobs and Atkins joint venture.
Valued at up to £1.55 billion in total, this is the second major procurement to be awarded under the company’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF). The first was the appointment of designers and contractors for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement which was announced last month (June).
Roads minister, Andrew Jones, said:
“As part of our long-term economic plan, we are investing more than £1.5 billion over the next five years in upgrading congested sections of motorway. This means better journeys for millions of people across the country, easier access to jobs, and stronger links between towns and cities. This is good for the economy and good for Britain.”