Work is set to begin to design and plan the construction of a £1.5 billion upgrade of the A14 after contractors were appointed.
The work will see improvements and the realignment of the problem stretch of A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon and is due to start next year.
The contracts have been awarded under Highways England’s Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF).
Due to the size of the project, it has been broken down into development (detailed design and pre-construction) and delivery phases, with construction of the proposed scheme split into four packages of work.
The detailed design contract has been awarded to Atkins CH2M joint venture at a total cost of £35.3m. The initial award is for the development phase at a value of £19.6m.
Once the scheme is given the go ahead the joint venture will provide design support and site assurance services throughout the scheme to a value of £15.7m.
Costain Skanska Joint venture have been awarded construction package one, covering A1 at Alconbury to the East Coast Mainline; and package two, covering east of the East Coast Mainline to Swavesey.
The value of the pre-construction phase is £1m. Once the scheme is given the go ahead, the joint venture will deliver £598m of construction work.
There are two construction packages still to be awarded, the third, widening the existing A14 from Swavesey to Milton, is being re-tendered and is due to be awarded in the summer.
The fourth package is for the demolition of the viaduct over the East Coast Mainline at Huntingdon and associated works - this will be tendered under the CDF in 2019.
Subject to the outcome of the development consent order examination by the Planning Inspectorate, and to the Transport Secretary’s decision regarding our development consent order application, the proposed scheme is on target for main construction work to start in late 2016. The new bypass and widened A14 would open to traffic in 2020.
Chris Taylor, Director for Complex Infrastructure at Highways England, leading the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, said: “The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme is the first major award under the CDF and is to enable delivery of an up to £1.5 billion investment of national importance.
“We have raised the standards we expect from our supply partners - we expect quality of performance and for them to work collaboratively to deliver the excellence that our customers and stakeholders expect of us.
“We continue to be committed to working closely with our framework suppliers to ensure our expectations are clear and well understood.”
The proposed improvement scheme will involve a new major bypass between Swavesey and Brampton, widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton, improving the junctions at Bar Hill, Swavesey, Girton, Histon and Milton, Huntingdon Town Centre improvements, to include the demolition of the viaduct, and a new local access road.
Chris added: “While we appreciate our planning application is yet to be fully examined by the Planning Inspectorate and we are yet to receive permission to start construction, these appointments will give us the support we need to prepare for works getting underway on time and to budget.”
Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, said: “The A14 is a strategically vital transport corridor and we are delighted to have secured the development stage of this major improvement project. It reflects our reputation for delivering solutions to infrastructure needs in long-term, strategic partnerships with customers.”
Glennan Blackmore, Operations Director, Skanska said: “We are extremely proud to be part of the team that will deliver significant infrastructure improvement to the strategic roads network, the region and the UK economy.”
Philip Hoare, Group Managing Director for Atkins’ Transportation division said: “The A14 scheme will bring a much needed and long awaited improvement to the road network between Huntingdon and Cambridge that will significantly improve performance and customer experience when it opens in 2020. Along with our partner CH2M, we are delighted to have been awarded the design contract for the scheme and look forward to providing our expertise and innovation to support Highways England in the successful delivery of this important project.”
Peter McDermott, CH2M’s Director of Highways and Bridges, said: “CH2M is delighted to be partnering with Atkins to deliver this important project. We have a long history of working for Highways England road upgrade programmes and look forward to continuing this relationship on a project that will bring about massive improvements to the road network in Cambridgeshire and provide a major boost to the economy in East Anglia.”