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CEEQUAL & roads: Projects compendium


West Midlands Strategic Highways (MAC 9 and West Midlands TechMAC)

West Midlands Strategic Highways

Project Description

The Highways Agency’s (HA) Area 9 MAC contract and West Midlands TechMAC contract combine the roles previously undertaken by separate Managing Agents (MA) and Term Maintenance Contractors (TMC). The contracts therefore create a single point of accountability for the delivery of HA desired outcomes across the Area network (Safe Roads, Reliable Journeys and Informed Travellers).

The MAC contract deals predominantly with the hard infrastructure such as the 1050km of carriageway, and the network structures. The TechMAC contract incorporates 18,000 technology assets such as variable message signage, and the delivery of Active Traffic Management. The West Midlands network carries around 3 million vehicles every day.

Amey provides a holistic, end-to-end service incorporating strategic advice, asset inspection and assessment, as well as the design, management and delivery of physical works. These include routine and cyclical maintenance, incident management and improvement schemes. Provision of these “hard” services is underpinned by a company-wide commitment to softer issues, such as customer information services, influencing driver behaviour, and attention to roadworker and driver safety.


The award of these contracts represents a unique opportunity for both Amey and the Highways Agency. The delivery of these separate contracts by a single, integrated service provider means a more cohesive approach coupled with seamless process interfaces. This increases efficiency, transparency, and accountability for the client, whilst crucially providing enhanced outcomes for the road-user, both in terms of journey time reliability, safety and the availability of accurate network information.

Fact file

  • Other parties: Highways Agency, The road user
  • Start/finish for West Midlands TechMAC: 1 July (5 years + 2 yr extension)
  • Start/finish for MAC 9: 1 July (5 years +2 x 1 yr extensions)
  • Value for MAC Area 9: £275M
  • Value for WM TechMAC: £24M
  • Length of network: 1,050km
  • Value of MAC Area 9: £275M
  • Number of technology assets: 18,000


Mott MacDonald

A3 Hindhead Improvement

A3 Hindhead Improvement

Project description

Construction of a 6.7km dual carriageway bypass to alleviate congestion and improve road safety on the A3 through Hindhead and around the Devil’s Punch Bowl and Hindhead Common − an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) − in south east England. The project includes a 1.8km twin bore tunnel and eight bridges and underpasses. The scheme has been procured using the Highways Agency’s Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process. Each of the twin tunnel bores will house two lanes and there will be cross passages every 100m. The ground conditions are predominantly sandstone and the tunnels constructed using sprayed concrete lining (SCL). The tunnel design includes provision of state-of-the-art safety and communications systems, including high quality lighting and ventilation, CCTV surveillance and radio-interrupt systems to convey quick and appropriate information to users of the tunnel.

Mott MacDonald is the principal engineering designer providing detailed design services, design support teams and construction monitoring.


Agreement had to be achieved with the National Trust who owned land required for the new bypass.

There has been intense focus on sustainability; minimising land take, material export, waste, energy use and maximising reuse of materials.

Embankments have been steepened significantly using 10,000 soil nails, reducing the physical footprint of the bypass. Innovative tunnel construction using sprayed concrete primary lining as the permanent tunnel support produced significant cost savings.

To ensure the scheme has a net environmental benefit significant mitigation measures were incorporated into the design including returning the existing A3 to heath land, ensuring the tunnel alignment was above the water table and extensive flora and fauna translocation.

Fact file

  • Other parties: Client: Highways Agency, Principal contractor: Balfour Beatty, Employer’s agent: Atkins
  • Start/finish: September 2002-Summer 2012
  • Road opening: Summer 2011
  • Total project cost: £370M
  • The twin bored tunnel will be the longest non-estuarial tunnel in the UK
  • Significant improvements in safety were achieved by specifying fibre reinforced shotcrete which removed the need to put miners under exposed ground to fix mesh
  • Gained HA Major Projects Innovation for Safety Award 2008 for design of tunnel services to avoid need for mid tunnel plant room

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