£1.25bn Stonehenge tunnel job winner revealed

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
Share

A three-way European joint venture between Spanish contractor FCC, Italy’s WeBuild and Austria’s BeMo Tunnelling has bagged the £1.25bn Stonehenge tunnel job despite ongoing uncertainty about the project’s future.

The vast A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down upgrade suffered a serious setback last July after the High Court ruled as unlawful transport secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to approve the Stonehenge Tunnel scheme against the recommendations of planning officials.

A fresh planning application is now awaiting redetermination by the transport secretary, following the quashing of the decision to grant the Development Consent Order.

To keep the project on track, Highways England today decided to name the European MORE joint venture as its preferred contractor for the works. The 3-way JV were selected ahead of two rival bidders: Bouygues Travaux Publics/J Murphy & Sons; and Hochtief Infrastructure/Dragados.

The FCC-lead JV has enlisted Atkins, Jacobs and Spanish designer Sener as the design joint venture.

The main works contract covers the construction of the proposed tunnel’s civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and technology components, including the tunnel boring machine, along with the approach roadworks and structures over the five-year construction phase.

Derek Parody, National Highways’ Project Director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, said: “The contract will only become live once the Secretary of State has concluded the planning process.

“The announcement of a preferred bidder in no way pre-empts any decision, and once that is finalised, and should the Development Consent Order be granted, having a contractor in place will put us in the strongest possible position to deliver this transformational scheme and deliver the benefits we know it can.”

He added: “We’re pleased we have now identified our contractors, they are internationally renowned and they will also be making best use of considerable UK skills by using a range of local, regional and national suppliers and contractors to help them deliver the scheme.”

To prepare for the construction phase, National Highways has been working closely with the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Business West, the Federation of Small Businesses, Salisbury and District Chamber of Commerce and Salisbury BID, and has also partnered nationally with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to provide free online training.

Proposed upgrade of the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down


• 8 miles of free-flowing, high-quality dual carriageway

• a tunnel at least 2 miles long underneath the World Heritage Site, closely following the existing A303 route, but a further 50 metres away from the Stonehenge monument, avoiding important archaeological sites, and avoiding intrusion on the view of the setting sun from the stones during the winter solstice

• a new bypass to the north of the village of Winterbourne Stoke

• junctions with the A345 and A360 either side of the World Heritage Site

The preliminary work will provide initial opportunities for local, regional and national companies within the first six months of construction starting.

The contracts for archaeology and enabling preliminary work were announced in 2020, as part of the total £1.7 billion capital cost of the scheme.

Wessex Archaeology, one of the largest contractors in the sector, was awarded the £35m Archaeological Mitigation Contract, Octavius Infrastructure (formerly Osborne) have been awarded the £8.5m Preliminary Works Contract through the Collaborative Delivery Framework.

National Highways, the company responsible for England’s motorways and major A roads, is also finalising the process to award a Delivery Assurance Partner Contract, up to the value of £60m, in due course.

Latest news

M&S wins appeal over Gove refusal to demolish flagship store

Retailer claims victory in planning row over Marble Arch building
14 hours ago

Plans expand for “new city district” at Bristol airfield

Malaysian firm YTL gets green light for bigger Brabazon development
20 hours ago

NG Bailey chief to step down

David Hurcomb to retire in May after 14 years at the helm
1 day ago

Hundreds to be rehoused in Aberdeen over RAAC fears

Engineers exploring whether to condemn 500 homes or carry out remedial works
1 day ago

Plan in for North London 620-bed student scheme

Student rooms and affordable homes scheme to be built in Wood Green
20 hours ago

Stantec lands design role on £4bn battery factory

First main construction award due shortly on Somerset mega-project
2 days ago

Utilities and civils specialist Ferns returns to profit

Kent-based firm grows to £81m revenue as telecoms work takes off
20 hours ago

Go-ahead for 316 bed Stratford student scheme

Construction to start by end of year on site next to Pudding Mill Lane station
20 hours ago

Equans suffers £146m loss and quits new build housing

Losses hit £99m on housing association new build work
2 days ago

Job cuts at modular house builder TopHat

Offsite housing specialist acts in response to "challenging market"
2 days ago

Graham wins £85m Milton Keynes Lakes Estate revamp

Enabling works start ahead of building 200 council homes
2 days ago

Go-ahead for London’s largest estate £1bn rebuild

Spring start for first job at Stratford's Carpenter Estate scheme
2 days ago

Costain trials electric vans on major civils sites

Green vans meet "tight budgetary requirements" in pilot scheme
3 days ago

Green light for major mixed-use scheme in Ealing

Scheme will provide 10,915 sq ft of industrial workspace alongside 140 new homes
2 days ago

Taylor Wimpey sees tender inflation fall to 1%

House builder retenders site work as build costs slide
3 days ago

Careys back in profit after £47m turnaround

Contracting division back in profit ahead of three-year growth plan
4 days ago

Rye Demolition goes into administration

Another specialist contractor goes under
3 days ago

Historic breakthrough for HS2’s longest tunnel drive

TBM Florence ends her 10 mile journey under the Chilterns
3 days ago

Volumetric builder Tide seals deal to start London tower

32-storey North Acton tower will consist of 462 co-living units
3 days ago

Costain moves HQ to London’s Can of Ham

Contractor makes return to London from Maidenhead base
3 days ago

Former Keltbray highways MD joins McAlpine

Vip Gandhi takes lead role at Transport division
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon exits stage left from Essex theatre contract

Contract re-tendering shines spotlight on growing schism between contractors and clients
4 days ago

Purpose build student schemes to surge again

Unite assembles record £1.3bn pipeline as fall in HMO supply boosts PBSA sector
4 days ago

Bidding starts for £1.4bn Midlands Rail Hub Alliance

Alliance will deliver upgrades to rail lines and stations around Birmingham and nearby towns
4 days ago

Brickability sounds warning over materials demand

Distributor sees lower sales lasting for longer before house building recovers
4 days ago

English Cities Fund raises extra £200m for work pipeline

Muse, Homes England, L&G partnership to double in size
4 days ago

Go-ahead for 64 homes at former Glasgow Coliseum theatre

Robertson-owned developer Urban Union to build four housing blocks at site
4 days ago

Competition probe launched into 8 major house builders

Cartel watchdog says volume house builders may have exchanged competitively sensitive information
5 days ago

Cement-free concrete firm falls into administration

DB Group also owned Pudlo waterproofing products
5 days ago

Everton Stadium now structurally complete

Laing O'Rourke lifts final concrete terrace section into place
5 days ago

Contractor services