Arcadis has scooped a two-year contract to develop proposals for the A66 Northern TransPennine scheme.
Highways England has picked the consultant giant to conduct design, traffic, economic and environmental assessments across the 80 km corridor between the M6 and A1(M) motorways.
The TransPennine scheme is part of Highways England’s Road Investment Strategy.
It links the east of England to central Scotland (including Glasgow) and will be improved to provide better connectivity in the North.
The TransPennine Scheme will alleviate pressure on the M62, which links the North-east to the North-west of England.
Arcadis project director Steve Davies said the scheme is a “core component for developing the Northern economy” and an “integral part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda”.
He added: “As part of this, the A66 Northern TransPennine scheme will play a major role in establishing more effective connections, ensuring safer and more reliable journey times between our key cities and ultimately supporting wider regional growth and prosperity.”
In May, Construction News revealed that Highways England is planning a major shift in procurement after its £5bn Collaborative Delivery Framework ends next year.
It is understood that Highways England is in the process of finalising plans for how it will procure work from next year, including regionalising the procurement of enhancement works and introducing alliancing across its smart motorways programme.
The new procurement routes will replace the CDF, which was launched in 2014 to cover all enhancement works on the UK’s roads. However, the CDF is set to be scrapped when it reaches its £5bn OJEU limit, which is expected by December 2018.