The project involves the widening of 2.5 miles of single carriageway to a dual carriageway. The scheme passes through a sensitive environmental area and significant environmental commitments will be addressed during the design and construction phases by WSP and Balfour Beatty.
Preconstruction environmental surveys are being undertaken by WSP and design work has started, with construction works on site expected to begin in early 2015.
As reported earlier this week, the value of Balfour Beatty’s contract is £35.36m but the overall cost of the project to the Highways Agency is£69.7m, thanks to land acquisition and public inquiry costs, among others
WSP has worked as design and build consultant for Balfour Beatty on other Highways Agency projects including the widening of multiple sections of the M25 since 1995.
WSP technical head of highways Roland Diffey said: “This is an essential project that will remove a significant bottleneck on an important transfer corridor that connects London and the M25 with the south coast at Hastings. The dualling scheme will not only increase capacity and reduce congestion but makes journeys safer and more reliable.”
Balfour Beatty managing director for major projects Stephen Tarr said: “We have been working with WSP for nearly 20 years on some vital upgrades to Britain’s road network, including the widening of M1 and M25 motorways. We are looking forward to working on this project collaboratively for the Highways Agency and for the benefit of Kent’s commuters.”