The Highways Agency has awarded the first of its new Asset Support Contracts (ASC) to an Atkins Skanska joint venture.
Atkins/Skanska will take on responsibility for maintaining and improving the Area 2 network of motorways and major roads in the south west from July. It will earn between £30M and £80M a year, depending on the amount of work done.
NCE revealed that the Atkins/Skanska joint venture was understood to have snatched the contract from incumbent Balfour Beatty last month (NCE 9-16 February).
Award of the five year contract had been heavily delayed, with the Agency having sought invitations to tender last April.
The new style Asset Support Contracts (ASCs) are replacing the existing Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) contracts and are designed to drive efficiency through a schedule of rates and a year-on-year rate reduction mechanism.
In return contractors get more flexibility on how and when to do work through outcome based maintenance standards.
ASC contracts also feature a higher cost threshold for works, to allow more work to be done by the ASC contractor rather than the Agency having to go out to tender for another supplier.
The second ASC for Area 10 in the north west is expected to be awarded soon, although the Agency would say only that it would be awarded “later this year”. This contract was expected to have been awarded early in the New Year and in theory should have started this month.
Balfour Beatty/Mott MacDonald and Atkins/Skanska are also shortlisted for this contract, along with the incumbent Aone+ joint venture of Colas, Costain and Halcrow. Also shortlisted are Amey LG and Enterprise Mouchel. It is worth up to £100M a year.