Contractors told to speed up new motorway widening jobs

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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Three motorway widening schemes and a key dualling project to the port of Immingham are to be used to pilot the delivery of road projects in half the time.

Under a radical plan to slash planning and construction times on the managed motorway network, construction projects will be brought forward so they can be completed in the current spending review period.

The fast-tracking will see motorway widening contractors shift towards round-the-clock working with more workers on multiple parts of a project at once.

More planning, design and construction preparation activities will be run concurrently to cut time.

And the Highways Agency is also encouraging contractors to take more work off-site for prefabrication where possible.

Earlier starts and completion dates will drag an extra £75m of road investment into the current spending programme for hard pressed highways contractors.

Schemes to start in 2013/14

  • M3 J2 to 4a, Surrey – cost £159m-£223m
  • M6 J10a to 13, West Midlands – cost £140m-£201m
  • M1 J28 to 31, Derbyshire – £177m-£250m
  • A160/A180 Immingham dualling – cost £89m-£132m (Start summer 2015)

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I am determined to cut the time it takes to upgrade our roads in half by dismantling procedures that have slowed us down.

“Together these schemes will increase capacity for millions of road users by 72 miles. My ambition is that in future all major road schemes will be accelerated, tackling congestion more quickly and boosting the economy.”

The Department for Transport and the Highways Agency has looked hard at how to speed up the decision making process and the time it takes to have roads ready for use by motorists.

It is estimated that 1km of managed motorway can be built every two weeks, instead of every four.

It is expected more complex, traditional capacity improvements on non motorway routes, such as the A160/A180 Immingham improvements, will be delivered up to 25% quicker.

Project details

Surrey, M3 J2 to 4a managed motorway

Work is expected to start 2013/14 and be completed by spring 2015 rather than during 2016.

This project is located on 13.4 miles of the M3 Motorway between Junction 12 of the M25 (M3 J2) to the A327 (M3 J4a) in Surrey.

It will provide more reliable journeys from London and Heathrow to Solent Ports – important for both leisure and business commuters.

West Midlands, M6 J10a to 13 managed motorway

Work is expected to start 2013/14 instead of 2014/15 and be completed by spring 2015 instead of during the next financial year – 2015/16.

The project is located on a 9.6-mile stretch of the M6 between junctions 10a and 13, to the north west of Birmingham.

It will support the economic development in and around the M6 by increasing business efficiency and improving reliability for business travellers, freight and logistics operations.

Derbyshire, M1 J28 to 31 managed motorway

Work on this scheme, is expected to start 2013/14 and be completed by spring 2015 instead of during the next financial year – 2015/16.

This project will add extra capacity on the M1 near Sheffield, between junctions 28 and J31 (18.9 miles), which is the primary strategic link between Nottingham and Sheffield.

Immingham A160 and A180

Work expected to start in summer 2015 instead of during 2016 and complete by autumn 2016 instead of during 2018. The timeline is subject to successful completion of statutory processes, and the construction budget being agreed (for the next spending review period).

Out of an original five-and-a-half year programme, the ambition is to cut 18 months off the completion date.

The A160/A180 will be upgraded to a dual carriageway with improved access to the Port of Immingham.

Currently, the A160 carries around 13,000 vehicles per day.

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