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Wimpey and Balfour Beatty are understood to be among contractors set to bid for a £50 million design and build Scottish motorway project.Tenders are being invited for the 11 km three-lane dual carriageway scheme - the so called Ayr Road Route - which will link Ayrshire's upgraded road system with Scotland's central motorway belt.Work on the new M8-A77 link is scheduled to start in December and take about 30 months. It will extend the M77 from Dumbreck, in south Glasgow, to Malletsheugh and incorporate 14 bridges and five interchanges.Three-quarters of the cost will be borne by Strathclyde Regional Council, which is responsible for issuing bid documents and awarding the contract.European funds of £7.5 million are also being sought and it is understood that failure to secure these will lead to cuts in other Strathclyde projects.The council will oversee work from Dumbreck to the city boundary; the Scottish Office will be responsible for the rest.One feature of the contract is the extended commissioning period. This will last three years instead of the more usual 12 months, putting pressure on the contractor to make sure the job is carried out correctly from the start.The client will pay only 75 per cent of the contract price on completion of the road, with further stage payments over the three years of commissioning. CONSTRUCTION NEWS