Aecom has been appointed by Highways England to provide technical support for the upgrading of the A303 which includes the controversial Stonehenge tunnel.
Plans were announced by Highways England in February this year to upgrade the final 56km of single carriageway to dual carriageway. Currently the narrow stretches of road create bottlenecks on the heavily congested road which links the M3 and M5 in south west England.
The scheme which runs from Amesbury to Berwick Down will include dualling the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester and the A358 between Taunton and Southfields.
As part of the government’s £15bn five-year Road Investment Strategy a whopping £1.4bn has been set aside to improve the single carriageway section of the A303 at Stonehenge. The current stretch of road runs around 165m from the ancient monument and can have delays of up to an hour in the summer months. In its place, a controversial 2.9km long tunnel to take the traffic away from the site has been proposed.
Aecom, in partnership with Mace and Mouchel, will now be called upon to develop an initial design, manage a Development Consent Order application and provide technical assurance for detailed design and construction of the stretch of road.
The contract is expected to last for eight years and is worth between £40M and £50M.
Highways England project director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme Derek Parody said: “This award is another step in our commitment to deliver the A303 Stonehenge improvement scheme. We have enjoyed an excellent and productive working partnership with the Arup Atkins Joint Venture during the route options identification phase, and we are now looking forward to forging another successful partnership with Aecom.
“We are still busy developing the design of the scheme, following a successful public consultation, and although we are yet to receive permission to start construction, this appointment will help us to design the best scheme possible to improve this road and enhance the World Heritage Site, and to prepare for works getting under way on time and to budget.”
Construction is due to start on site in in 2020.