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Big names team up for A5 upgrade in Northern Ireland

Costain, Ferrovial, Balfour Beatty and Atkins among the firms working to secure NI roads job

At least five joint venture teams are in the running for the 65-month £600 million scheme to upgrade Northern Ireland’s A5 Western Transport Corridor between New Buildings and Aughnacloy.

A joint venture between Costain, Ferrovial and Northern Irish firm Lagan have submitted a tender, as have a consortium including Balfour Beatty, Atkins, Belfast-based concrete specialist FP McCann and Bam Civil.

Northern Irish contractors Farrans and Graham Construction are also thought to have teamed up in order to submit a bid for the works, as well as two joint ventures between Galliford Try and Siac and Irish firms Roadbridge and Sisk.

Spanish firm Sacyr and Irish civils specialist Wills Bros. are also understood to have thrown their hats in the ring.

The road-building contract, including construction, foundation and surfacing works is being let by the Department for Regional Development in Northern Ireland.

Over 80 km of dual carriageway will be provided on the A5 Transport Corridor between New Buildings, near Londonderry, and Aughnacloy via Strabane and Omagh.

The contract notice published in the Official Journal of the European Union last February said the contract would be divided into three lots “of approximately equal size and value. Economic operators will be permitted to tender for up to two lots.”

Tenders are currently being examined for the three lots, worth up to £200m each.

The £600m project was identified in the Regional Transportation Strategy for Northern Ireland and regional development minister Conor Murphy is expected to announce the preferred route on 21 July.

A source close to the project suggested that the bid list for the widening of the A8 between Belfast and Larne will be similar to that for the A5. Between five and six contractors are expected to be shortlisted and invited to tender on 27 July for the five-year £100m contract.

In addition to its road projects in Northern Ireland, A5 bidder Graham Construction has been looking to expand into England.

The Dromore-based contractor has recently been invited to tender for the £13.2m M56 Bowden Bridge replacement scheme, together with Carillion, Hochtief, Bam Nuttall and Norwest Holst.

It has also pre-qualified for a £20m road improvement works job at the junction of the A41 and A4031 for Sandwell Borough Council in the West Midlands.

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