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08Oct92 UK: TARMAC LOOKS SET TO WIN ROAD CONTRACTS IN SOUTH-EAST AND NORTH-WEST WORTH OVER £120M.

Tarmac looks set to pick up a brace of road contracts in the South-East and North-West worth more than £120 million.The more certain of these is the £41 million widening of the M25 between junctions 12 and 16 to the west of London.Industry sources claim Tarmac's price could be significantly lower than its rivals. One alleged the contract would be let for 'a ridiculous figure.'Those likely to be disappointed on the M25 are Trafalgar House, Costain, Mowlem, Balfour Beatty and Wimpey.The official completion time is 21 months, but the project includes provision for contractors to name their own finishing times.Work is expected to start on the scheme within the next few weeks, with the job involving widening from three to four lanes in each direction on a 7.5 km stretch between the M4 to M40 junctions.Tarmac is also expected to add to its haul the £80 million widening of the M6 between junctions 20 and 21A.It is understood that consulting engineer Pell Frishcmann has now made its recommendations to the Department of Transport, having sited through around 30 alternative bids from the six contestants.An award is now likely within two weeks as it is believed that the DTp is anxious to get work under way to circumvent the danger of the project falling foul of imminent cuts in the roads programme, which are expected to be announced in the autumn statement.About half the scheme's costs will go in the new 1,400 m Thelwall viaduct over the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.The motorway will be widened from dual three-lane to dual four lane for 10km.The project, includes a further 10 bridges.