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Birse in pole on £28m bypass job

CONTRACTS - KENT

BIRSE is tipped to take a £28 million roads deal in Kent ahead of Nuttall, Morgan Est, Alfred McAlpine, Amec and Norwest Holst The team is thought to be in pole position for the bypass contract on the A228 for Kent County Council.

The Early Contractor Involvement scheme includes building a 4 km long stretch of road from Leybourne on junction 4 of the M20 up to an existing single carriageway in nearby West Malling.This carriageway will be dualled.

One bidder said: 'There's no official decision yet but the word is that Birse will get the job.'

The winning team will work with the council on designs before going on site in spring 2005.

A decision on the preferred contractor had been delayed after transport secretary Alistair Darling ordered an inquiry into the scheme's compulsory purchase order of local farmland.