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Highways Agency looks for gantry builders

The Highways Agency is looking to award up to 12 firms a place on its £70M framework to supply and erect gantries for its Managed Motorways programme.

The four year deal would see firms fabricate, erect, refurbish and remove as necessary gantries on any Agency scheme where they are needed. Between 250 and 500 are expected to be installed across the highway network, largely driven by Managed Motorways work.

Bids to win a place on the framework will be assessed on 50/50 price/quality ratio, and once on the framework contractors will be required to continually improve quality and cut prices over the four years of the deal.

The Agency said it reserves the right to use reverse auctions at some stage in the framework in order to drive prices down.

“We are reserving the right to use reverse auctions, but that doesn’t suggest it will be the default position or that they will be used at all,” said a spokesman. “It is in the contract to allow them to be used should we want to at some stage.”

Framework contractors will be required to collaborate with the Agency, its contractors and supply chains and with the Managed Motorways Delivery Partners (MMDPs) and their supply chains during design, construction planning, construction, testing and commissioning stages.

By doing so, they must commit to contributing to scheme design, supporting improvements in the cost, quality, transportability, buildability, operability and efficiency of gantry type structures.

It is expected the Highways Agency’s contractors and supply chains will use this framework and will act as contracting authorities. Local authorities may also use the framework.

The Agency expects to invite 24 firms to tender for the framework places.

Structures included in the deal include portal gantries, cantilever gantries and other similar structures and include their associated superstructures and base substructures. Foundation works are not included.

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