AN INTERNATIONAL line-up is on the starting grid for a £73 million cross-border road project in Ireland.
Four consortia are chasing the 14 km-long PPP deal linking Newry in Northern Ireland with Dundalk just across the border in the Republic.
The deal is being procured by Northern Ireland's Department for Regional Development Roads Service and the National Roads Authority, which handles highways work in the Republic.
In an unusual move, Amey is up against its parent Ferrovial for the deal.The firm, which was bought by the Spanish giant last spring, has linked up with Irish contractor Lagan.Ferrovial is leading a team featuring Siac.
Northern Irish pair Graham Construction and Nuttall subsidiary Ascon and a joint venture between Mowlem and Northern Ireland firm McCann, a subsidiary of Dutch outfit Royal BAM, make up the shortlist.
The successful team will connect the southern terminal roundabout at Cloghoge on the Newry bypass in Armagh down to the proposed northern terminal roundabout at Kilcurry on the Dundalk Western Bypass in Louth.
The two authorities, alongside Louth County Council in the south, will select a preferred team this November. Site clearance will begin next January, with work starting shortly after.Construction will last 30 months.
The project will be tendered under the NRA's 'target price contract' plan in a bid to prevent costs escalating.
nMowlem - not Amec as reported last week - has taken the £85 million Mottram-Tintwistle bypass in Greater Manchester.Disappointed by the news were Costain, Alfred McAlpine and Carillion.The 5.7 km route is being tendered as an Early Contractor Involvement job. Construction is due to start in 2007.