Multi-million pound upgrade project announced for England’s concrete roads

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Highways England has announced two contracts worth £285m to improve the ageing concrete surface of roads across the country.

The upgrade project aims to ensure that England’s concrete roads are safer, quieter and easier to maintain for the future.

Over the next five years Highways England will work with engineering and construction companies Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, John Sisk & Son, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac to repair or replace some 400 miles – or 4% – of concrete motorway and major A roads.

The majority of such concrete surfaces are found in the eastern side of the country, in the north east, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the south east.

According to Highways England, as these roads were built largely in the 1960s and 1970s, decades of use has left them in need of vital upgrades. Thus, some will be repaired to extend their life and others fully replaced.

Furthermore, the programme of works, which will run until 2025, includes plans to recycle and reuse materials wherever possible, while a centre of excellence has also been established to coordinate ways of renewing England’s roads.

Martin Fellows, Highways England regional director, 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 contract awarded is for a reconstruction framework worth £218m, which 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.

The second contract awarded is for a lifecycle extension works framework worth £67m, which will see VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac deliver specialist repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete road surfaces of motorways and major A roads.

The first of the contracts to revitalise concrete road surfaces was awarded earlier this year to infrastructure and engineering companies AECOM and Atkins. The £39m design framework will see the companies provide design, supervision and project management services.

The £285m investment is part of wider road improvement strategy that will see up to £400m spent to revitalise concrete roads in England.

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