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£6.2 billion M25 Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contract awarded

HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release (HA19-09) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 20 May 2009

The Highways Agency has awarded the M25 Design Build Finance and Operate (DBFO) contract for the future development, operation and maintenance of the M25 motorway.

The contract worth £6.2 billion has been awarded to the private sector consortium Connect Plus.

Under the contract the M25 will be widened to four lanes between Junctions 16 and 23 and between Junctions 27 and 30, and the Hatfield Tunnel on the A1(M) will be refurbished. The contract also includes operation and maintenance of the M25 and the Dartford Crossing for a 30 year period. Preparatory work on widening between Junctions 16 and 23 will start tomorrow.

Transport Minister Andrew Adonis said:

"Today marks a major step forward in increasing the capacity of the M25.

"The widening schemes, combined with the maintenance and operation of the M25 network for the next 30 years, will reduce congestion, improve journey time reliability and safety and bring benefits to road users."

Up to 200,000 vehicles a day use the sections of the M25 that will be widened. The work is being phased to reduce the impact on road users and keep as many lanes open as possible. Work on both sections is due to be completed before the 2012 Olympics.

Ends

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Highways Agency Press Office. For further information please contact Kelly Logan or Alex Barnett on 0207 081 7443 (also out of hours press office number).

1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England's motorways and major A roads on behalf of the Secretary of State

2. The £6.2 billion Design, Build, Finance and Operate contract has been awarded to Connect Plus, a consortium of Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis. The M25 DBFO contract covers the operation and maintenance of the M25 and associated stretches of motorway and trunk roads and the Dartford Crossing for a 30-year period, and provision for adding capacity to most of the remaining three-lane sections of the M25.

3. Connect Plus was selected as Preferred Bidder in July 2008 and then carried out a funding competition to secure private finance for the project. A total of 16 commercial banks, plus the European Investment Bank, have agreed to fund the project

4. The final deal does not include Government co-funding.

5. Preparation work for the widening for the first section (junctions 16 and 23) is planned to start tomorrow, 21 May 2009, with overnight lane closures between Junctions 16 and 18. The main traffic management for the major widening works is due to be in place on the night of the 27 May 2009.

Refurbishment works on the A1(M) Hatfield Tunnel will begin in June 2009.

Works on the second section, between junctions 27 and 30, is expected to start in July 2009.

Completion is planned for July 2012.

6. Two further sections, between Junctions 23 and 27 and between junctions 5 and 7, are included as 'options' within the DBFO contract (NB: these are not included in the £6.2bn contract price). The Secretary of State announced in January 2009 that capacity would be added to these sections by using hard shoulder running, and it is expected that these works will start by 2015.

7. The Hyder Halcrow JV (in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff) are the Agency's consultants for the M25 DBFO contract, with PricewaterhouseCoopers appointed as the Agency's financial advisors, and Denton Wilde Sapte LLP as legal advisors.

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Issued by the Highways Agency Press Office. For further information please contact Kelly Logan or Alex Barnett on 0207 081 7443. Out of hours the Highways Agency Duty Press Officer can be contacted by phoning 0207 081 7443.