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Costain/Skanska wins £600M A14 work

Costain and Skanska have bagged the first major construction contracts under Highways England’s £5bn roads framework.

The joint venture was awarded two legs of the mammoth A14 upgrade project in Cambridgeshire at a total value of £598M.

The contracts – subject to the scheme being given the final go-ahead by the government – were awarded under the Collaborative Delivery Framework.

They will see Costain/Skanska carry out works on the A14 either side of its crossing over the rail tracks at Huntingdon – to the A1 to the west; and to the village of Swavesey to the east.

A separate package for the demolition of the viaduct over the East Coast Mainline at Huntingdon and associated works will be tendered through the framework in 2019.

The final leg of the scheme – widening the existing A14 from Swavesey to Milton – is being re-tendered and is due to be awarded later this summer.

Meanwhile, the £35M detailed design contract for the entire project has been awarded to a joint venture of Atkins and CH2M. The initial award is for the development phase but if the scheme is given the go ahead, the joint venture will also provide design support and site assurance services.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently examining a development consent order for the scheme, and will make a recommendation to the transport secretary by early next year.

If it gets the green light, the scheme would start on site at the end of next year and be completed by 2020.

Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton last year warned that the firms named on the five-year, four-lot Collaborative Delivery Framework would be required to “look afresh” at how roadworks were carried out.

Highways England director for complex infrastructure Chris Taylor said today: “We have raised the standards we expect from our supply partners – we expect quality of performance and for them to work collaboratively to deliver the excellence that our customers and stakeholders expect of us.

“We continue to be committed to working closely with our framework suppliers to ensure our expectations are clear and well understood.”

What the successful firms said about their awards

Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie: “The A14 is a strategically vital transport corridor and we are delighted to have secured the development stage of this major improvement project. It reflects our reputation for delivering solutions to infrastructure needs in long-term, strategic partnerships with customers.”

Skanska operations director Glennan Blackmore: “We are extremely proud to be part of the team that will deliver significant infrastructure improvement to the strategic roads network, the region and the UK economy.”

Atkins group managing director Philip Hoare: “The A14 scheme will bring a much needed and long awaited improvement to the road network between Huntingdon and Cambridge that will significantly improve performance and customer experience when it opens in 2020. 

“Along with our partner CH2M, we are delighted to have been awarded the design contract for the scheme and look forward to providing our expertise and innovation to support Highways England in the successful delivery of this important project.”

CH2M director of highways and bridges Peter McDermott said:“CH2M is delighted to be partnering with Atkins to deliver this important project. We have a long history of working for Highways England road upgrade programmes and look forward to continuing this relationship on a project that will bring about massive improvements to the road network in Cambridgeshire and provide a major boost to the economy in East Anglia.”

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