The contract is set to be worth more than £300m to the winning contractor over the 15-year term. It covers motorways and trunk roads in Area 7, the East Midlands.
The contract will be the first under a new set of arrangements in the East Midlands which sees Highways England bringing key functions in-house to take direct control of its road network.
We reported here in February that plans for an asset support contract (ASC) in the East Midlands had been scrapped in favour of a more traditional approach that separates design contracts from routine maintenance work and construction. (See our previous report here.)
Under the new approach, the successful bidder will be expected to have a directly employed workforce and the skills and capability to deliver the main contract.
This contract is the first of four in the East Midlands, with further contracts for design, capital works and specialist services to be tendered in the next three months. The contracts will all begin on 1st July 2016, once the current managing agent contract with Aone+ (a joint venture of Colas, Halcrow and Costain) has expired.
Jenny Moten, Highways England programme director for Area 7 future development, said: “This is significant change in the way we work in the East Midlands. For the first time we will be taking control of our roads, directly engaging suppliers to help drive down cost and waste, and providing the best possible value for money for taxpayers.
“This new way of working will help us develop a successful, long term relationship with the successful contractor for up to 15 years.”
The new approach in the East Midlands will sit alongside existing maintenance contract arrangements across the Highways England network. Asset support contracts are currently being (re-)procured in the South East (Area 4), North East (Area 12, South West (Area 1) and the North (Areas 13 and 14).
The tender can be found online at ted.europa.eu