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Seven shortlisted for £300m Warwickshire roads contract

Seven contractors have made the shortlist for Warwickshire County Council’s next highway maintenance contract, which has been valued at up to £300 million.

Balfour Beatty, Colas, and the incumbent Carillion are all understood to have made the cut for the deal, which will run from May 2011 for an initial five years ­ and could be extended to 2020.

It is thought that highways maintenance specialists Amey, Enterprise and Vinci subsidiary Ringway have also received tender documents.

Costain is believed to be the firm that completes the line up. The firm currently carries out a large share of the Highways Agency’s maintenance work and sources say it appears to be looking to gain a share of the local authority market.

Costain holds four of the Highways Agency’s 14 Managing Agent Contractor deals as part of the A-one+ consortium with Halcrow and Colas.

One source told Construction News: “Costain has done well in the MAC contract market so if it has got aspirations in the local authority sector, why shouldn’t it go for it?” The other major competitors in the local authority road maintenance market ­ Atkins and May Gurney ­ are both understood to have decided against bidding.

Warwickshire County Council’s contract covers highway maintenance across the county and could also cover maintenance works for Coventry City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

It may also be used for the procurement of various works by other local authorities within the West Midlands.

Invitations to tender were initially expected on 12 April, but the date was pushed back several times and it is understood that contractors were eventually notified at the end of May.

Meanwhile procurement of the £75m contract to build the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road has stopped because of uncertainty over funding.

One contractor source said it was unclear whether bidding would start up again or the contract would go back to the market.

Skanska, Hochtief and Carillion were all understood to be in the running for the job.

The source said: “It’s on hold but it could come back out to tender.”