Carillion has been awarded a £70.5 million construction contract for a smart motorway scheme on the M6 in Staffordshire.
The work will involve upgrading the M6 between J10a and J13 to a smart motorway with all lane running. This section of the motorway is a major strategic route connecting people, communities and businesses, carrying around 120,000 vehicles per day.
The scheme, which currently has an estimated overall cost of £87.5m, will increase the capacity of the M6 between Junctions 10a and 13 by improving traffic flow and relieving congestion with variable mandatory speed restrictions at peak times. It will also see the existing hard shoulder between 11a and 13 convetred to an additional permanent running lane with smart motorways technology.
The M6 J10a to J13 smart motorway scheme is part of a pilot initiative to speed up delivery of road projects, to ensure road users and the economy benefit from improvements sooner. Advanced enabling works started in September 2013 and full construction can now continue from the award of the construction contract to Carillion. This is ahead of the planned construction start date of between January and March 2014. The full scheme is expected to be completed by spring 2015.
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: "I welcome today's contract award which is an important step towards the Highways Agency starting the main construction works on this much-needed scheme.
David Cooke, Highways Agency project manager, said: “Over the coming months road users will start to see the additional verge mounted signs and gantries being installed. Much of the work will be less noticeable as the installation and testing of supporting hidden roadside technology will be ongoing throughout the scheme.”
Carillion chief executive, Richard Howson, added: “Carillion is already successfully delivering a smart motorway project for the Highways Agency between Junctions 5 and 8 on the M6 and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Highways Agency to improve journey times for the travelling public along this major route.”