Highways England unveils multi-million-pound initiative to revitalize ageing concrete roads
HIGHWAYS England has announced two contracts worth £285 million to upgrade the concrete surface of roads across the country.
Making up almost 400 miles (4%) of England’s motorway and major A-road network, concrete roads were built largely in the 1960s and 70s, when traffic volumes were half of what they are today.
They are mostly found along the eastern side of the country, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, but there are also some smaller stretches in other parts of England.
Despite providing 50 years of virtually maintenance-free life, decades of use and hundreds of millions of journeys has left these roads in need of vital upgrades.
Over the next five years to 2025, Highways England will work with leading engineering and construction companies Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, John Sisk & Son, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas Ltd, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac on a long-term programme of repair or replacement.
Martin Fellows, Highways England regional director, said: ‘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.’
Depending on the condition of the roads, some will be repaired to extend their life and others will be fully replaced.
The two contracts awarded today (30 March) are:
- Reconstruction Framework worth £218 million, 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.
- Lifecycle Extension Works Framework worth £67 million, which will see VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac deliver specialist repairs to maximize the life of the existing concrete surfaces of motorways and major A roads.
The concrete roads renewal programme includes plans to recycle and reuse materials wherever possible and a Centre of Excellence has been established to co-ordinate innovative ways of renewing these vital roads.