Trains run along coastal section of Great Western Main Line for first time since February’s storm
Four firms have been chosen to deliver £450M of power line work in the north of Scotland.
Amec, Balfour Beatty, Babcock and a Morgan Sindall/Vinci joint venture will work on new and upgraded lines.
Demand from renewable developers means significant changes are needed to the way the transmission network is configured and operated. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission said its latest investment would support more than 600 jobs and provide a boost to local economies.
Director of transmission David Gardner said: “The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts, will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”
A consortium led by Dutch firm Royal HaskoningDHV has won a $5.4M (£3.3M) irrigation scheme in Mozambique.
The team will design and create a 3,000ha rice irrigation project in the African country.
Funded by the World Bank, the Sustainable Irrigation Development Project will run for six years. Rice yield per hectare is targeted to increase from one ton to four tons per year.
Mr Manuel Jossefa, agricultural sociologist at Royal HaskoningDHV, said: “Where appropriate, new technologies and applications of existing irrigation technologies will be incorporated, bearing in mind that the beneficiaries are small producers using manual labour. This limits the use of mechanisation for example.
“The project has many challenges, not least the long distances between centres and confirming land rights to small farmer associations, which involves establishing links with various stakeholders.”
A £24M scheme to upgrade a road junction in Norfolk has been approved by the government.
Transport minister Baroness Kramer said the A47 junction at Postwick would be enlarged.
The project will allow two business parks to grow and 600 new homes to be built, the government said.
Kramer said: “This major road improvement is great news for Norwich, with fantastic benefits for local people including new homes and the creation of thousands of new jobs.
“The £19M we are putting into this project will greatly boost the infrastructure Norwich needs to help the local economy grow.”
Main works are scheduled to start in April 2014 with completion of the scheme in November 2015.
Businesses in the capital have accused the government of failing to act on guidance over airport capacity.
The Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, concluded in December there was need for an additional runway to be operational in the South East by 2030. It said further study would be made of three options for providing this: two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick.
The commission’s interim report also contained ideas for immediate action that would improve the use of existing runway capacity.
These included a package of surface transport improvements to make airports with spare capacity more attractive to airlines and passengers.
Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “We are now in April, nearly three and a half months after Sir Howard Davies published his first report, without progress.
“What was the point of using up resources producing a short-term report that ministers appear to have put on the shelf?
“The appalling delay by the government in spelling out what it plans to do in the short term to make capacity gains does not help to instil confidence.”
Trains are running through Dawlish again this morning following the completion of a mammoth eight-week repair job.
A stretch of the Great Western Main Line collapsed into the sea during an extreme storm in Devon in early February.
Up to 300 engineers, led by Network Rail and contractor Bam Nuttall, have been carrying out heavy civils work in the area.
The project was complicated in March when about 20,000t of the cliff face in nearby Teignmouth sheared away and had to be cleared.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “Our army of engineers has done an amazing job of putting back together a railway that was ravaged by the elements.
“They have overcome every obstacle thrown at them, winning many battles along the way to restore this critical piece of the network, ahead of schedule, and in time for the Easter holidays.”
Work carried out to restore the railway has included:
- Rebuilding and fortifying the breach with more than 6,000t of concrete and 150t of steel
- Removing 25,000t of collapsed cliff at Teignmouth using high pressure water canon, fire hoses, helicopter-borne water bombs, specialist roped access team and “spider” excavators
- Repairing dozens of other sites along a four-mile stretch of coastal railway, clearing hundred of tonnes of debris and repairing over 600m of parapet wall
- Rebuilding half of Dawlish station with a new platform, new canopy and repainting
- Installing over 20.8km of new cables, designing and installed a new temporary signalling system and replacing over 700m of track and ballast