Roads roundup

Balfour Beatty Carillion jv  has been announced as the third construction contractor to build the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon project after the project was rebid by Highways England “to get the most from its collaborative delivery framework”. The work covers widening the existing A14 from Swavesey to Milton. The initial award is for the pre-construction phase at a value of £461,359. Subject to the scheme being given the go ahead the joint venture will ultimately deliver £292M of construction work. Costain Skanska Joint venture won the £600M job to construct package one, covering the section from the A1 at Alconbury to the East Coast Mainline and package two, covering east of the East Coast Mainline to Swavesey. The fourth package for the demolition of the viaduct over the East Coast Mainline at Huntingdon and associated works – this will be awarded in 2019. An Atkins CH2M joint venture won the A14 detailed design contract in June worth £35.3M.

Cumbria’s newest stretch of road – the A590 High Newton and Low Newton bypass near Grange-over-Sands – has produced major benefits to road users and villagers according to Highways England’s  Post Opening Project Evaluation (POPE) on the two and a half mile, £35 million dual carriageway which opened in April 2008. The study – a requirement after a project has been running for five years – shows local commuters and other road users have benefited from faster journey times, a reduction of traffic clogging up the two villages and an 80% reduction in collisions, down to just one a year from five. Three minutes have been shaved off journey times between the roundabouts with the B5277 and Newby Bridge during the morning and evening peak travel periods, with a two-minute saving outside peak travel times. The amount of traffic using the old A590 through the villages has also fallen substantially, from 17,900 to 550 each day, with 16,950 vehicles now using the new bypass every day.

Transport Scotland has announced its preferred route option for improving the A82 trunk road between Tarbet and Inverarnan alongside Loch Lomond following extensive surveys and design development work carried out by the CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture. The preferred route will closely follow the existing road. Next stage of design, costing over £8M is now underway, with publication of draft Orders for the scheme in 2017.

Britpave has produced new guidance on ‘Smart motorway construction with concrete’ which examines a full range of situations likely to arise on the motorway network when widening or upgrading existing pavements. There is concern that the hard shoulder lanes may not have the adequate strength to cope with heavy goods vehicles. On a typical UK motorway 77% of all HGV traffic uses the inside lane. The solution is to design and construct the hard shoulder as a concrete pavement specifically to cope with the concentration of HGV traffic, Britpave says. ‘Smart motorway construction with concrete’ is available as a download from the Britpave website,, £10 for non- members, free for Britpave members.

Highways England has published the tender for the Area 7 design services contract in the East Midlands which will run for 5 years and with an expected value of £25M.The contract for a single supplier will be in place from 1 April 2016, with design services starting from 1 July. 

New figures from the Department for Transport reveal that country roads are the deadliest, with an average of three people dying on them every day last year. In total 1040 people were killed and 9051 seriously injured on country roads in 2014, with a third (348) of fatalities occurring on a bend.

Highways England has appointed a joint venture of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, Halcrow and Steer Davies Gleave to lead a study into building a road link between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

A joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Carillion has been awarded a construction package on the £292m A14 Swavesy to Milton upgrade project in Cambridgeshire by Highways England.The 50:50 joint venture has been selected to widen a critical and complex 10 mile stretch of the existing A14. Works, which will take place in a live-traffic environment, will include the widening of existing road sections between Swavesey to Girton, including the Girton Junction with the M11 Motorway and the Cambridge Northern Bypass. The package is part of the wider £1.5bn scheme to improve the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon which is subject to statutory approval.