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Balfour Beatty nabs A21 dualling deal

Balfour Beatty has been appointed by the Highways Agency for the £35m dualling and improvement scheme to the A21 between Tonbridge and Pembury in Kent.

The scheme, which had been valued at up to £72m, will see Balfour Beatty build a 2.5 mile dual carriageway on the main road link between London and Hastings. The contractor will also build junction and road layout improvements, including two underpasses and an overbridge.

The contractor beat Bam Nuttall and Laing O’Rourke to the deal.

It is more than two years since roads minister Mike Penning announced that funding would be provided for the scheme to “ensure that a ‘pipeline’ of future Highways Agency major infrastructure improvements” would be maintained.

A public inquiry for the scheme was held between 14 May and 9 July 2013. It was finally given consent to proceed in May this year.

Highways Agency project manager Graham Link said: “This scheme will improve journeys on the A21 by reducing congestion and improving safety for the 35,200 drivers that use this section each day.”

Balfour Beatty managing director for major projects Stephen Tarr said: “Balfour Beatty has a strong track record of delivering major road schemes, both nationally and in the region, on time and to budget. 

“Our commitment to building sustainably, engaging with local stakeholders and employing a local supply chain is key to our success and we aim to leave a lasting legacy as a thoughtful contractor behind us.”

Advance work is expected to start this autumn with main construction starting in spring 2015.

Meanwhile, Balfour Beatty has also won a £25m contract to extend and upgrade six primary schools for the London Borough of Merton as part of the £1bn, four-year iESE (Improvement and Efficiency South East) framework.

The contractor said it brought its workload within iESE to more than £100m of work since 2011.

Much of the work is on school buildings dating back to the 1930s and includes a £5.1m three-storey extension to Pelham Primary School and a £4.4m new school hall, main entrance and teaching block at Hillcross primary school.

The schools projects are due to complete in September 2015.

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