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Two firms drive road job forward

THE RACE for a £200 million roads framework job is over with two firms sharing the podium.

Balfour Beatty and Jackson Civil Engineering will split the Cambridgeshire County Council major schemes package at the expense of a long list of construction heavyweights. May Gurney, Alfred McAlpine, Laing O'Rourke, Kier, Nuttall and Birse have all missed out.

The winning pair will handle all projects with a value over £500,000.The five-year contract could be extended to 10 years if they perform well.

The first major scheme under the contract will be the A1198 Papworth bypass, a 3 km single carriageway with three roundabouts, worth £6 million. Other projects include a £4 million southern link road just south of Cambridge. A new roundabout is also required on the A141 in Warboys and an extension of the park and ride area in Trumpington is on the cards.

Further work in the job will include road improvements, access roads, interchanges on existing dual carriageways and major transport interchanges.

Smaller schemes such as junction improvements, cycle bridges, bus lanes and car parks will also be included.

Contractors are understood to have been asked to include their Capability Assessment Toolkit score as part of their submission.

One successful bidder said: 'With the market as quiet as it is this is a big win.'

Initial works will start next month with the two teams being given an equal share throughout the first two years. From then on allocation will be by performance monitoring scores measured over the original period.

The £200 million package makes the deal the biggest ever offered by Cambridgeshire County Council.WS Atkins is project consultant.