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ECI cuts two years off Stoke road upgrade

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EARLY CONTRACTOR involvement is delivering major improvements to the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent two years faster than would have been possible using conventional procurement, the Highways Agency claimed this week.

Contractor Nuttall is 57 weeks into a 118 week, £40M contract to grade-separate two junctions on Stoke's congested A500.

Nuttall and designer Hyder worked with Highways Agency checking engineer Mouchel Parkman and Stoke City Council to iron out construction issues while the scheme was still in the planning phase (NCE 19 June 2003).

'When permission was granted Nuttall was ready to go, ' said Agency project leader Graham Dakin.

With conventional procurement the contractor would have been appointed after design had been completed and planning permission granted, Dakin added.

On a complex scheme like the A500, preparing for construction can take up to two years as the contractor thrashes out potential diffi ulties with the client and designer, he said.

The project involves building underpasses that will take the A500 underneath the busy City and Stoke roads. Junctions are currently roundabouts controlled by lights.

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