The deal is worth an initial £200m over five years with the potential to hit £500m over a ten-year extension.
The council said that despite a “period of extensive and constructive discussion with Balfour Beatty Living Places” it “has not been able to confirm and clarify commitments made to the point where it can provisionally award the contract.”
The council added: “It has therefore been decided that the procurement process will revert to the previous stage where Suffolk County Council can liaise with any, or all, of the bidders who submitted final tenders (including Balfour Beatty Living Places), before again identifying a preferred bidder.”
The move means rivals Amey, Carillion/Mott MacDonald, Enterprise Mouchel and MGWSP (May Gurney/WSP) are back in the race.
The tender process had already lasted nine months before the unveiling of Balfour Beatty in December.
The contract was due to go live on the streets of Suffolk in April but will now be pushed back.
The winner will be responsible for the design and implementation of highway maintenance and improvement works, winter gritting, street lighting, traffic signals and bridge works throughout the county.