Amey has pipped Vinci/Laing O’Rourke/WSP to a mega £2.7bn deal to operate and manage Birmingham’s roads for 25 years.
Preferred bidder status for the PFI deal was delayed due to turmoil in the financial markets, but the recent closing of the £6.2bn M25 widening PFI deal has restored confidence in very large transport funding packages.
NCE’s sister title Infrastructure Journal believes that financial close will be reached as soon as October, with work starting in 2010.
Reaching close quickly
Amey chief executive Mel Ewell said that reaching close would be much quicker than the 12 months it took Connect Plus to close the M25 deal.
“We are now on closing mode. Markets are improving, and closing now is considerably easier than it would have been just six months ago,” said Ewell.
“We are now on closing mode. Markets are improving, and closing now is considerably easier than it would have been just six months ago.”
Mel Ewell, Amey
This deal will be the largest ever signed by a local authority and paves the way for further similar deals to be pushed through to replace crumbling inner city infrastructure. Ewell said his sights were now firmly set on the proposed £2bn Sheffield roads PFI, which was given government approval in April.
The Birmingham deal will see Amey improve and repair 2,500km of roads, including footways, bridges, street lighting, furniture and traffic signals. It will also help develop a traffic management system for the city.
Ewell said: “The majority of the work we have existing expertise in.”