Contract award comes with confirmation of spiralling costs: the total cost of delivering the Norwich Western Link is now estimated at £198m, up from £153m two years ago.
Works for the Norwich western link road include 6.1 km of dual carriageway from A1270 to A47 including a new viaduct over the River Wensum and six structures for minor roads.
But first it has to get through planning. Ferrovial will start on the contract immediately alongside the council’s existing project team to develop the design. This work will feed into the pre-planning application public consultation, which is scheduled for the autumn, which in turn will inform the planning application for the project, due to be submitted in early 2022.
The target is to start construction next year and complete in 2025, with a further three years of landscape maintenance.
Together with the A47 dualling between North Tuddenham and Easton due to get under way in early 2022, it would create a fully dual carriageway orbital route around Norwich.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Ferrovial Construction have a great track record in designing and building large-scale infrastructure projects and will bring specialist expertise to the project, including in relation to the design of the viaduct across the River Wensum.
“Creating the Norwich western link is a priority for this council and it’s vital to ensuring we have the right infrastructure in place to not only tackle existing congestion and delays but to accommodate future population and job growth.”
Ferrovial Construction UK & Ireland managing director Karl Goose said he was delighted and that the contract “forms part of the new sustainable growth strategy” for the Spanish company in the UK.
The council has also submitted the outline business case to the Department for Transport. If approved, this would cover 85% of the total project costs.