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Tue June 28 2022

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Contractors signed to renew concrete motorways

30 Mar 21 Highways England has signed two contracts worth £285m to upgrade the concrete surface of roads across the country.

Concrete carriageways and notoriously noisy. New quieter surfaces are promised.
Concrete carriageways and notoriously noisy. New quieter surfaces are promised.

Over the next five years, Morgan Sindall, John Sisk & Son, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac will repair or replace 400 miles of concrete road surfacing on the motorways and trunk roads of England.

Concrete roads make up 4% of England’s motorway and major A-road network. They are mainly along the eastern side of the country, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, there are also some smaller stretches in other parts of England. They were built largely in the 1960s and 1970s.

Highways England has awarded two contracts today:

• Reconstruction framework, worth £218m, will see Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and John Sisk & Son on a design and build arrangement to demolish existing concrete road surfaces that are in poor condition and replace with a new smoother surface.

• Lifecycle extension works framework, worth £67m, will see VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac deliver specialist repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete road surfaces.

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Initially the programme will focus on repairing stretches of concrete road and maintain them in a safe state until full reconstruction becomes needed in the future. However, there are some larger reconstruction schemes planned for later in the programme (2023/24) that will replace the concrete surface with asphalt.

Highways England regional director Martin Fellows said: “Concrete roads have served the country well since they were first built half a century ago. They have proved tough and durable over the years, helping every day for work journeys and home deliveries, visits to friends and family, holidays, and the movement of the goods and services that we all depend on. 

“This is the biggest concrete road renewals programme we have ever embarked on and we’re pleased to have awarded the final two contracts that will help us deliver the maximum benefits of safe, reliable and smooth journeys for many years to come.”

The first of the contracts to renew concrete road surfaces was awarded earlier this year to consultants Aecom and Atkins. This £39m design framework will see the companies provide design, supervision and project management services.

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