Concrete roads upgrade launched with £39m framework

Highways England has awarded the first of three multi-million-pound contracts that will 'revitalise concrete road surfaces across the country'.

Over the next four years, the government-owned company will work with AECOM and Atkins to provide design, supervision and project management services on a nationwide programme to repair or replace the concrete surface of a number of motorways and major A roads.

Highways England said the new Design Framework contact is worth £39m.

The project is part of a £400m commitment in the second Road Investment Strategy to improve the quality of 600 miles of existing concrete roads.

Most of England’s concrete roads were built in the 1960s and 70s and are now beyond their original design life, Highways England said, but are now carrying up to 25% more traffic than they were designed for.

Depending on the condition of the roads, some will be repaired to extend their life and others will be fully replaced.

Regional director Martin Fellows said the three contracts ‘will help us deliver best on safety, customer service and efficiency throughout the duration of the project’.

Rory Poole, UK&I head of highways at AECOM, said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to increase the reach of our network maintenance and sustainability expertise.

‘We are looking forward to working with industry partners to ensure England’s roads have a long and efficient working life, providing a safe, reliable and resilient network for Highways England’s customers.’

Ian Spellacey, client director, strategic highways at Atkins, said: ‘The framework gives us the opportunity to build on work already underway on meeting the needs of road users by using innovative digital assessments to measure the technical and customer benefits for concrete surface treatments.

‘Drawing on our collective experience of maximising re-use and recycling of materials, we look forward to working closely with Highways England and the other framework providers to promote a circular economy while redefining how concrete surfaces are managed across the country.”

Highways England plans to award a further two contacts under the Concrete Roads Programme this year. One will cover Lifecycle Extension Works: a specialist contractor contract worth £67m will deliver specialist repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete pavement.

The final contract is the Concrete Roads Reconstruction Framework, worth £218m over four years. It will cover the demolition of existing concrete surface and its replacement surface.

Highways England has also established a national centre of excellence under the Concrete Roads Programme, which it said will be a focal point for regional schemes to establish a standardised approach and ensure consistency of delivery across the country.

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