It is the first of a number of Asset Delivery contracts in the South West which sees Highways England changing the way it works.
Highways England will now take direct responsibility for managing both routine maintenance and the delivery of capital renewal and improvement schemes.
A number of key decision-making functions will be taken in-house as Highways England takes greater control over work.
The organisation said: “The award of this and future contracts allows Highways England to directly engage with our supply chain to drive down cost and waste.”
Kier’s five-year deal will focus on design briefs which the contractor will turn into “well-defined packages of work.”
Duties will include preparing technical designs and undertaking supporting work for capital renewal projects and improvements to produce a solution that is ready for construction, and to design briefs to repair major roads and get them back running as normal after incidents.
David Poole, Executive Director for commercial and procurement at Highways England, said: “We are delighted that Kier Highways Limited will be part of our new Asset Delivery supply chain community across the South West.
“This contract not only builds on the new way of working already taking place in the East Midlands and North of England but also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to increasing Highways England’s capability and control over the whole road network.”
Dave Wright, executive director, Kier Highways, said: “This award is testament to the expertise we’ve provided through our design services work in Area 7 and we are pleased to be continuing to support Highways England in its new approach.
“Collaboration for both clients and suppliers is at the heart of our business and this new approach allows us to continue our successful relationship with Highways England.”
Future awards will include a range of suppliers being appointed in April to the new framework for delivering construction works and a contract will be awarded in March for the maintenance and response contract, both of which will help to deliver the designs provided by Kier Highways.
Highways England will now begin working with Kier Highways to ensure that they are ready to begin delivering key design services from 1 July 2017.