The projects to be delivered by Galliford Try are the £300m A47 corridor improvement programme around Norwich and Peterborough and the £135m Sparkford to Ilchester dualling scheme along the A303 corridor in Somerset.
The contracts are the first higher band ones to be awarded under Highways England’s new regional delivery partnerships framework that it announced last year. The framework is divided into Band A contracts (valued at less than £100m) and Band B (more than £100m).
Previously, only Band A contract awards had been awarded to date: £61.4m to Geoffrey Osborne Ltd to upgrade the A46 at Binley in Coventry, and £52.4m with VolkerFitzpatrick for a series of improvements along the A27 near Lewes in East Sussex.
In November 2018, 13 contractors were selected to share delivery of an £8.7bn programme of works by 2024. The new ‘routes to market regional delivery partnership’ contracts incentivise companies to improve safety and reduce traffic delays. Previously, Highways England procured work on a scheme by scheme basis. The new approach is designed to provide a secure pipeline of work for contractors, to help them plan their businesses better, and instil confidence to invest in jobs and training.
Galliford Try Highways managing director Duncan Elliott said: “We’re delighted for this opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Highways England in schemes which will bring such a huge benefit to their customers. The appointment underlines the strategic importance of highways to our construction business and the vast experience, expertise and resource we can offer in this sector.”
The A47 improvement programme stretches from the west of Peterborough to Great Yarmouth and involves three sections upgraded to dual carriageway and two junction improvements. Subject to planning consent, the programme is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
In Cambridgeshire, approximately 1.5 miles of the A47 between Wansford and Sutton will be upgraded to dual carriageway and there will be an improvement of the roundabout at the A47/ A141 junction in Guyhirn. In Norfolk, 1.5 miles of the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham and around 5.5 miles of the A47 between North Tuddenham to Easton will be dualled, while the A47/A11 Thickthorn junction will also be upgraded.
The A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme is currently waiting for planning consent and due to start construction in March 2020. The plan is to dual a three-mile single carriageway section of the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester, with grade separated two-level junction access.
Highways England is planning to upgrading all remaining single carriageway sections of the A303/A358 between the M3 and M5 to dual carriageway standard. As well as the A303 Sparkford to Ilchester scheme, plans are also being taken forward to upgrade the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down and the A358 between the M5 at Taunton and the Southfields Roundabout on the A303.