The Highways Agency has fired the starting gun on its new £5bn framework, with the first schemes to be awarded by the end of the month and five winners to share almost £3bn of work.
The first package of works being procured through the £5bn Collaborative Delivery Framework are the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement scheme and tranche one of the smart motorways programme, which consists of three schemes: M5 J4-6, M1 J16-19 and M6 J16-19.
The Highways Agency will be bringing suppliers from lot 3a and 3b together to deliver the first tranche of schemes and other programmes.
In total, 15 smart motorway projects will be divided into a number of tranches along with major schemes on the A14, A19 and M20, as well as pinch-point junction development schemes, all of which will be procured through the CDF.
In the biggest value lot (see box), Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering, Bam Nuttall / Morgan Sindall JV, Carillion Construction, Costain and Skanska Construction UK could share projects worth almost £3bn over the next four years.
The agency used behavioural evaluation, as well as its usual cost and quality indicators, for the framework award.
But Highways Agency commercial and procurement director David Poole told Construction News this did not mean a guaranteed behavioural analysis approach to all future projects, just because it had been a success on this framework.
He said: “I think it would be inappropriate to use as a blanket approach across all procurement.
“We will do a debrief on how this process went where we will look at behavioural assessment and where it’s appropriate going forward.
“There are very big challenges ahead. There is additional, significant investment to deliver and when we set about this, we knew we had to do something that encouraged supply chain growth and new behaviours to deliver the right quality and safety.
“We will be working in a new way… to make sure we are encouraging suppliers we work with currently to grow with us and new suppliers to come and work with us.
“We need both those things to deliver the infrastructure programme.”
The main firms to miss out on the construction lots, as exclusively revealed by Construction News this week, were Bouygues Travaux Publics (lot 3b) and Laing O’Rourke (lots 3a and 3b).
Alun Griffiths and McLaughlin and Harvey also failed to qualify from lot 2.
Highways Agency CDF winners
Lot 1 - Design & Engineering Services (indicative total spend £500m)
- CH2M Hill
- Hyder Consulting (UK)
- Jacobs Engineering UK
- Mott MacDonald / Grontmij JV
- URS Infrastructure and Environment (UK)
- WSP Civils / Parsons Brinkerhoff JV
Lot 2: Delivery of schemes ranging from £0m to £25m (indicative total spend £450m)
Lot 3 (a): Delivery of schemes ranging from £25m to £100m (Indicative total spend £1.15bn)
- Amey LG
- Galliford Try Infrastructure
- Hochtief (UK) Construction
- John Sisk & Son / Lagan Construction Group JV
- Vinci Construction UK (trading as Taylor Woodrow) / VinciConstruction Grands Projets JV
Lot 3 (b): Delivery of schemes ranging from £100m to £450m (Indicative total spend £2.9bn)
- Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering
- Bam Nuttall / Morgan Sindall JV
- Carillion Construction
- Skanska Construction UK
Mr Poole said the agency was “very pleased we had good lively competition” on all lots, with “great businesses competing”.
He added: “We need to be seen to be different. We’re looking to change the organisation. It will look and feel different for the supply chain.”
Under the framework, the agency can directly award contracts or run mini-competitions for single or grouped suppliers.
However, Mr Poole indicated that direct awards would be limited to areas where most appropriate, such as where existing suppliers were already working on nearby schemes and could add-on improvement works in the locality.
Highways Agency CEO Graham Dalton said it was “a great group of firms lined up” and the framework was “the start of some exciting times”.
He said the agency had to think more about its customers and get more work done when using the live network for less time, as well as meeting Treasury efficiency targets, which he said would be set out on a case-by-case basis.
He added: “It is not just the scale of this framework that is important, but the way it is designed to bring the agency, designers and contractors together in one large collaborative team.
“We expect to deliver this major investment programme efficiently, speedily and with real effort to minimise disruption to road users while we build.”