Tendering for the next tranche of Highways Agency Asset Support Contracts (ASCs) has got under way with five firms or teams invited to tender for the £150M per year Area 9 deal.
Carillion, Balfour Beatty/Mott MacDonald, Atkins/Skanska, Amey and Enterprise/Mouchel are bidding.
The Area 9 ASC cover s motorway and trunk roads in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Shropshire, as well as the metropolitan boroughs of Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley and the City Of Birmingham.
Also due to start soon is procurement of ASCs for Areas 4 and 12.
These cover the South East and Yorkshire & Humberside respectively and are due to start on site in the same 2014/15 financial year as Area 9.
The previous tranche of ASC deals currently in procurement includes Areas 3, 6 and 8.
Last month the Highways Agency took the unprecedented step of switching procurement of Area 6 covering Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to the Negotiated Route under EU procurement rules. This allows it to question bidders about bid anomalies (NCE 14 March).
Area 3 (Berkshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex) and Area 8 (Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire) are being procured using the usual Restricted Route. All three are due to be awarded in the summer in time for starting on site in the autumn.
Additionally, the Agency has extended its Area 7 Managing Agent Contractor contract, held by AOne+ (Costain, Colas and Halcrow) for a further two years.
A Highways Agency spokesman said: “Extending our contract for maintenance in Area 7 with the current provider will enable us to develop and test some new ideas and approaches as part of our drive to continually review and improve our maintenance activities.”