Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fears for A14 widening job

The award of one of the biggest road building contracts in the Highways Agency's targeted programme of improvements has been delayed until 2008 amid fears that the scope of the scheme will be reduced.
The £600M re-routing of the A14 from Ellington to Fen Ditton was originally due to have been awarded in August.

At that point the Agency had received bids for the Early Contractor Involvement scheme from Balfour Beatty/Alfred McAlpine; Costain/Skanska; Laing/Ferrovial Agroman; and Carillion/Edmund Nuttall.

One of the bidders told NCE that it had been told that the contract would not be awarded until 2008. Another bidder said it was eagerly awaiting a meeting with the Agency at the end of October to get an update about the contract award amid rumours that it would be asked to re-bid for the scheme.

The bidder said it was fuming when the meeting was cancelled.

An Agency spokesman confirmed that a meeting was due to be held this week between the Agency and the A14 bidders but that no further details about the contract were available.

The Agency is known to be reviewing costs on all of its major projects following the recommendations of the Nichols Report into cost estimation of road building schemes in March.

The cost review has led to speculation that some schemes may be dropped from the Agency's Targeted Programme of Improvements and cheaper alternatives used to boost capacity such as Active Traffic Management which includes hard shoulder running.

Transport secretary Ruth Kelly said last week that Active Traffic Management would be extended across the network after a successful trial on the M42 around Birmingham (News last week).

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.