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Balfour Beatty scoops £44m Highways Agency scheme

Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £43.9m deal to design and build the Highways Agency A1 Coal House to Metro Centre improvement scheme in Gateshead.

The project includes construction of new parallel link roads between the Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quay (A184) junctions and an increase in lane capacity on the A1 main line from two to three lanes in each direction from the Metro Centre to Coal House junction, a distance of four miles.

Widening works will include the installation of reinforced earth and concrete walls. Balfour Beatty will use its King Sheet Piling System to reduce the pile area and pile driving depth associated with traditional methods thereby reducing the overall construction programme. 

Other works will include replacing and/or repositioning of fencing, road restraint systems, drainage, traffic signs, road markings, street lighting and technology structures. Landscaping and accommodation works on the trunk road and local road networks will retain the existing cutting and embankment slopes.

Balfour Beatty will use excavated material for part of the reinforced earth structure and verge fill, with existing road pavement planing will be reused as the sub-base within the footway construction. 

Other excess materials will be taken off site and recycled on construction projects across the North-east of England. More than 200 people will be employed at the peak of construction including three apprentices and two graduates.

Nicholas Pollard, chief executive of Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, said: “Originally built 40 years ago, this section of road is currently one of the more congested sections of road on the Highways Agency’s network.

“We are delighted to have been selected to carry out these essential improvement works which will increase road user capacity by 30 per cent, reduce congestion and support regeneration and development, helping to boost the local economy.”

Parsons Brinckerhoff provided design support work for the scheme.

Works will commence on site later this summer and are due for completion in early 2016.

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