Highways England has appointed AECOM to provide technical support in the detailed design and planning application process for the UK’s A303 Stonehenge scheme. AECOM will be Highways England’s Technical Partner for the project, which includes proposals for a 2.9km long tunnel near Stonehenge.
In its £15bn five-year Road Investment Strategy – the biggest in a generation – the UK Government has pledged to upgrade the A303 corridor into a high quality, high performing route.
The aim is to provide an enhanced link between the M3 in the South East and the M5 in the South West, improving journeys for millions of people, and additional schemes in the first road investment period include dualling the A303 between Sparkford and Ilchester and the A358 between Taunton and Southfields.
As part of the investment, a £1.4bn project has been proposed to improve the single carriageway section of the A303 at Stonehenge, and to assist in further developing and delivering the scheme, Highways England has awarded the Technical Partner contract to AECOM, in partnership with Mouchel and MACE.
The Technical Partner will be required to develop the preliminary design for the scheme, manage and lead on the Development Consent Order application for the scheme, and provide technical assurance of the detailed design and construction.
The eight-year contract, valued between £40 and £50 million, has been awarded under an open tender competition.
Subject to the outcome of the Development Consent Order examination by the Planning Inspectorate, and to the Transport Secretary’s decision regarding a development consent order application, the proposed scheme is on target for construction work to start in 2020.
Derek Parody, Highways England project director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, said:
This award is another step in our commitment to deliver the A303 Stonehenge improvement scheme. We have enjoyed an excellent and productive working partnership with the Arup Atkins Joint Venture during the route options identification phase, and we are now looking forward to forging another successful partnership with AECOM.
We are still busy developing the design of the scheme, following a successful public consultation, and although we are yet to receive permission to start construction, this appointment will help us to design the best scheme possible to improve this road and enhance the World Heritage Site, and to prepare for works getting under way on time and to budget.
The single carriageway A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down currently runs alongside Stonehenge and the proposed option is to dual the seven-mile section, including a 2.9km tunnel, to improve journey times, remove the sight and sound of traffic and enhance the World Heritage Site. The proposal also includes options for a bypass of the village of Winterbourne Stoke.