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Five bidders line up for £200 million roads deal

CONTRACTS - HERTFORDSHIRE

THE HIGHWAYS Agency is asking five teams to work up bids for a £200 million deal to widen a stretch of the M1 in Hertfordshire.

Balfour Beatty and Skanska have joined forces to face a Mowlem/Costain joint venture, a Sir Robert McAlpine/Morgan Est combination and an Amec/ Alfred McAlpine pairing.Laing O'Rourke is bidding the contract on its own.

The scheme involves widening the motorway to four lanes from junction 6a, the turn-off from the M25 near Hemel Hempstead, to junction 10 at Luton.

New parallel link roads will also be built to cater for local traffic travelling between the two towns. Junctions 8, 9 and 10 will also be remodelled.

A winner is due early next year with work starting in autumn 2005, lasting two and a half years.