Connect Roads, a consortium of Balfour Beatty, Morrison and Carillion and the Scottish Roads Partnership, a joint venture between Amey and Lagan, will now submit detailed bids for the prized road job.
This is the first roads infrastructure scheme to be procured as part of the £2.5bn Scottish Government’s revenue funded programme of NPD projects.
The £415m contract will complete the motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh by upgrading the A8 Baillieston to Newhouse. It also includes work to improve Raith Interchange and the widening of key sections of the M8, M73 and M74.
Transport Scotland said it would also award a £3.1m groundworks contract to Forkers. The work is expected to be completed in the summer and is the first of a series of advance works planned for the scheme.
Undertaking advance work now helps to keep the project on programme ensuring a clear site for the main construction work to begin late this year with completion by 2017.
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon said: “On completion the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project will boost the nation’s economy by improving connections between the commercial centre of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.
“Since the start of the year we have already announced major progress on four trunk road construction projects, demonstrating clear evidence of our continued spending on projects that strengthen the country’s economy.
“Today again we’re taking another step in a the delivery of a critical construction contract. In these times of unprecedented Westminster cutbacks, support for the hard-pressed construction industry plays a key part in our vision of a wealthier, fairer and a better connected Scotland.
“Completing the M74 directly supported 900 construction jobs and we expect this project to be of a similar scale. Businesses will benefit from economic savings while more generally it will improve road safety, accessibility and reduce the number of accidents.
“On the job training for apprentices and local employment opportunities will be a key feature of this £415m project, with the successful contractor required to provide community benefits.
“Scotland’s motorways are the spine of Scotland’s economy, connecting businesses and communities, getting people to their jobs and goods to the marketplace. This project will deliver lasting benefits for people across the central belt and beyond.”