Three teams have won a share of a £600 million contract to build more than 80 km of new road to replace the A5 Western Transport Corridor in Northern Ireland.
A Balfour Beatty-led consortium, also thought to contain Bam Ascon and FP McCann, is tipped to have won one of the contract’s three lots, each worth up to £200m.
A joint venture between Irish heavyweights Sisk, Roadbridge, and PT McWilliams, and a team of top local firms Farrans and Graham, are understood to have scooped the other two lots.
Among those thought to have lost out are a Galliford Try/Siac team and a joint venture between Costain, Spanish giant Ferrovial and Northern Irish firm Lagan.
A local pairing of Wills Bros and Clarke was also understood to be in the running for the project, to provide more than 80 km of dual carriageway between New Buildings, near Derry, and Aughnacloy, via Strabane and Omagh.
The preferred bidders will be officially announced following a two-week cooling off period which began this Monday.
The road-building contract – covering construction, foundation and surfacing works – is being let by the Department for Regional Development in Northern Ireland.
Lot 1 covers the 21-25 km stretch of road from New Buildings to South of Strabane, while Lot 2 will consist of the next 33-34 km section of dual carriageway to South of Omagh. Both will require work at about four major junctions.
The final lot covers the remaining 31-36 km of dual carriageway, including up to three major junctions and finishing at Aughnacloy.
The scheme is part of a longer term plan, backed by the Northern Ireland Executive and the Republic of Ireland, to improve connections between Dublin, Londonderry and Donegal. The Irish government has pledged a contribution of £400m to help fund major roads programmes in Northern Ireland.
Construction is anticipated to start in 2012.