Amey bridges gap from Forth to Severn

06/08/2020
Chris Ames

Highways England has awarded Amey a 15-year Specialist Bridge Inspection and Maintenance contract worth £16m a year.

From the end of November, Amey will maintain three major structures in the South West – the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge, M48 Severn Bridge (pictured) and M5 Avonmouth Bridge – including structural inspections, routine maintenance and major renewal schemes.

The award follows an 18-month procurement and tender process.

The two Severn crossings came back under public control in January 2018 and responsibility for maintaining both bridges transferred to Highways England from the consortium that built the M4 crossing under a design, build, finance and operate contract.

Highways England Operations Director Nick Harris said: ‘Partnerships like this will help maintain high standards on the three large bridges in the South West.

‘By working more closely with our supply chain who carry out maintenance, we will be able to work more effectively, identify innovative ways of working and provide the best possible quality of service to road users.’

As part of the contract, Amey will become a member of the South West Asset Delivery Community.

The firm currently manages the Forth Bridges Unit on behalf of Transport Scotland. From 16 August, responsibility for these bridges will pass to Bear Scotland as part of the South East regional trunk road contract.

Peter Anderson, managing director for transport infrastructure at Amey, said: ‘Amey will bring a wealth of innovative operational solutions and capabilities regarding bridge infrastructure, which has been recognised by Highways England, through our work on the Forth Road Bridge amongst other structures across the UK.’

Highways England described the structures as each having its own unique characteristics and structural complexities.

While the M5 Avonmouth Bridge spans 1,400 metres, the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge comprises three structures: the Avon Viaduct (2,100m), Cable Stay (948m) and Gwent Viaduct (2,077m).

The M48 Severn Bridge, a suspension bridge covering 1,600 metres of the strategic road network, has the second highest tidal range in the world at 14.5 metres.

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