A £45 million contract to design the £1 billion transformation of the A66 northern trans-Pennine route is now open for tenders.
Highways England is developing plans to fully dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 which links the M6 at Penrith in Cumbria and the A1(M) at Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire.
The project, a key commitment in the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, is focusing on dualling the remaining 18 miles of the 50 mile route – providing quicker, safer and more reliable journey for thousands of drivers including a significant proportion of hauliers travelling to and from northern ports.
The formal notice for the A66 Preliminary Designer, Construction Technical Advisor and Supervision tender process was published today (Friday 25 October) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
Highways England senior project manager Matt Townsend said:
“The A66 northern trans-Pennine project will be one of the biggest infrastructure investments ever delivered in the north of England and we want to attract and work with the best suppliers to help deliver and realise the benefits that dualling the remaining single sections of the A66 will bring.
“This is the first contract we’ll be awarding as the project moves towards the design and statutory processes phases. The successful supplier will work closely with us to help deliver the best design for the transformation of this trans-Pennine route.”
A study into improving northern trans-Pennine routes was commissioned as part of the first 2015 to 2020 Road Investment Strategy period and completing the dualling of the A66 was chosen as the option to take forward.
In July 2017 Arcadis Consultancy (UK) Ltd was appointed to help Highways England deliver initial options phases as part of the company’s project control framework (PCF). This included delivering a two month consultation across the route on the different options for the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 route.
With the design tender process moving forward, Highways England will be unveiling the designs for dualling the remaining sections in its preferred route announcement (PRA) next Spring. This will be followed by publication of the report from this year’s consultation and it’s hoped construction work can start before the end of the second, 2020 to 2025, Road Investment Strategy period.
The current timetable is:
August 2019 to May 2020: Analyse consultation feedback and prepare consultation report and other materials
Spring 2020 – preferred route announcement (PRA)
Spring 2020 – publish consultation report
Summer 2020 – stage public information events on the PRA
Highways England has launched a brand new video setting out the processes it follows when developing and delivering schemes of the scale of the A66 northern Trans-Pennine improvement. The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project is known as a Nationally Significant Project (NSIP) and means Highways England must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to proceed with the project.