Under the contract, Balfour Beatty will widen a 5km stretch of the A19 from a two-lane dual carriageway to three lanes in each direction.
Works are due to start in spring 2020 and are scheduled for completion in spring 2022.
Phil Clifton, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s highways business, said that the project was “critical to the government’s initiative for growth in the northeast of England.”
Highways England project manager Keith Bradley said: “Drivers who use this busy route have had to put up with congestion, particularly during rush hour, while the road surface has caused a noise issue for people living nearby. Our improvements address the unreliable journey times and the noise, and allow us to support the Tees Valley economy, ahead of proposed employment and housing developments in the area.”
At construction peak, Balfour Beatty will employ a workforce of 150, of which only 15 will be from the local area, the contractor admitted.