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Highways England developing 'rapid engineering model'

M4 M5 smart motorway scheme in operation

Highways England hopes to be doing initial designs of smart motorway projects in a single day by the end of this year.

A key figure at the client body today said a ‘rapid engineering model’ was being developed for use on the major road network.

More than 600km of smart motorways, which use technology to allow normal traffic flow on the hard shoulder when deemed appropriate, are expected to be developed in the five years to 2020.

Highways England smart motorways programme director Shaun Pidcock told delegates at the New Civil Engineer UK Transport conference in London today that measures were underway to speed up the design process for such projects.

“We have started using building information modelling (BIM) much more intelligently than before,” he said.

“I set my team a challenge to design a smart motorway in a day; we are not a million miles away.

“If we can develop the rapid engineering model then we would spend less on design and more on hard investment.”

Pidcock said a rapid design system had been presented to him and could be used on real projects in 2017.

“The idea is to roll out this model over the coming months and years. We will be utilising it at early elements of design – to give us the envelopes for gantries and signs and so on.

“We could be using it on early stages of projects by the end of this year.”








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