National Highways has announced it has the key contracts in place to deliver the £1.7 billion A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme past Stonehenge.
The planning application for the transformational scheme is still pending redetermination by the Secretary of State for Transport, following the quashing of the decision to grant the Development Consent Order.
In the meantime, to ensure programme timescales are maintained, National Highways has awarded its £60 million Delivery Assurance Partner contract to Costain and Mott MacDonald, who will provide technical and construction management expertise by helping mobilise the main works contractor, oversee construction, assist the discharge of consent requirements and assure the design.
National Highways, following its preferred bidder announcement earlier this year, has also now signed a contract with MORE joint venture, comprising FCC Construcción, WeBuild and BeMo Tunnelling, to deliver the £1.25 billion tunnel and main construction work.
The contract signing follows a robust procurement process, a major part of which required shortlisted tenderers to develop their design solutions and demonstrate these as compliant with National Highways’ requirements.
The main works contract covers the construction of the proposed tunnel’s civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and technology components, including the tunnel boring machine, along with the approach roadworks and structures and the environmental components of the five-year construction phase.
Derek Parody, National Highways’ Project Director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, said: “We’re pleased to have brought in a team of expert contractors.
“The main works contract will only become live once the Secretary of State has concluded the planning process.
“The announcement in no way pre-empts any decision, and once that is finalised, and should the Development Consent Order be granted, having these contractors in place puts us in the strongest possible position to deliver this transformational scheme and deliver the benefits we know it can.
“The scheme will not only unlock congestion along this vital A303 route, but also conserve and enhance the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.
“Our Delivery Assurance Partner will help us to successfully coordinate and oversee the development of the scheme moving forward. This collaborative team will continue to work with local stakeholders, heritage bodies and local communities to deliver a successful and exceptional project for the area.”
(Picture – National Highways)