Highways England seeks contractors to deliver A303 upgrade near Stonehenge


Highways England, a government-owned company for operating, maintaining and improving England's motorways, is seeking potential contractors to deliver upgrades to the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down near Stonehenge in southeast England.

As part of this effort, Highways England has published the notice for £1.25bn worth contract in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). This marks the start of an 18-month procurement process.

The first OJEU notice covers the main works contract for the construction of the tunnel’s civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and technology components, including the tunnel boring machine, as well as the approach roadworks and structures.

However, contracts for enabling preliminary work are planned to be procured separately as part of the total £1.7bn cost of the A303 Stonehenge scheme.

The proposed upgrade of the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down includes eight miles of free-flowing, high-quality dual carriageway; a new bypass to the north of the village of Winterbourne Stoke; and junctions with the A345 and A360 either side of the World Heritage Site.

It also involves a tunnel at least two miles long underneath the World Heritage Site, closely following the existing A303 route, but a further 50m away from the Stonehenge monument.

Highways England project director Derek Parody said: “We expect this scheme to be of interest to some of the world’s best construction companies, who want to be part of delivering this transformational project – a scheme which will not only unlock congestion along this vital A303 route, conserve and enhance the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site but also benefit the local and regional economy by providing skills and job opportunities for businesses large and small.

“This in no way pre-empts the outcome of the ongoing Development Consent Order Examination. While this continues to progress, we need to begin the procurement to put us in a position to be able to start construction on schedule in 2021, providing consent is given.”

Image: Highways England seeking potential contractors for the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme past Stonehenge. Photo: © Crown copyright.

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