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22Oct92 UK: DTP BEATS SQUEEZE WITH TWO MORE JOBS.

Two schemes - one in the Midlands, the other in the North-West and valued together at more than £60 million - are the latest in a glut of contracts to emerge from the Department of Transport in recent weeks.Industry sources believe that the DTp is trying to defend itself from the deepest thrusts of the Treasury knife by committing itself to as many projects as it can before the autumn statement.Contractors have just collected the documentation from the £36 million A5 scheme around Tamworth and the M66 Denton/Middleton upgrading.There are provisional start dates of spring and March respectively for these jobs, but in the present economic climate this cannot be interpreted as a guarantee the schemes will go ahead.The A5 line-up features Christiani/Galliford, Kier/Hochtief, Budge, Amec, Alfred McAlpine and Trafalgar House.The latter is currently working on the A5 at Wilnecote on a £1 million contract to build an underpass - work associated with the main scheme which will bypass the villages of Fazeley, Two Gates and Wilnecote.The M66 line-up includes Amec, Norwest Holst, Budge, Taylor Woodrow and Nuttall.Included in the A5 project are 8 km of dual two-lane highway and 1.7 km of single carriageway. The scheme also calls for a 100 m five-span viaduct over the river Tame and two canal bridges.Staffordshire County Council is consulting engineer for the two-year project.The M66, valued at up to £30 million, involves upgrading a 2 km section from dual two-lane to dual four, running from the A576 at Middleton Road to junction 18 of the M62 at Simister.It also features a grade separated interchange, two major bridges and a diversion of the river Irk.Mouchel is consulting engineer for the 24-month project.