England to upgrade concrete road surfaces

Concrete roads make up almost 650km - 4% - of England’s motorway and major A-road network.
Maintenance / April 13, 2021 1 minute Read
By David Arminas
Many sections of the London orbital M25 motorway are concrete (image © Peter Fleming/Dreamstime)

Highways England has it announced two contracts worth nearly €335 million (£285 million) to upgrade concrete roads, most of them built in 1960s and 1970s.

Concrete roads make up almost 650km - 4% - of England’s motorway and major A-road network. Most are along the eastern side of the country, in the North East, Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South East, with some smaller stretches in other regions.

Over the next five years, Highways England will work with engineering and construction companies Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, John Sisk, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac on a long-term programme to repair or replace the concrete surfaces.

A “Reconstruction Framework” contract worth €256 million (£218) million which will see Morgan Sindall Infrastructure and John Sisk on a design and build arrangement to demolish concrete road surfaces that are in poor condition and replace them with a smoother surface.

The other contract, Lifecycle Extension Works Framework, is worth €78.5 million (£67 million). In this deal, VolkerFitzpatrick, Colas, Dyer & Butler and Tarmac will deliver repairs to maximise the life of the existing concrete road surfaces.

The programme includes plans to work with our contractors to recycle and reuse materials wherever possible.

The works are part of the UK government's second five-year Road Investment Strategy published last year to maintain and renew the UK’s strategic road network.

“Concrete roads have served the country well since they were first built half a century ago and have proved tough and durable over the years,” said Martin Fellows, Highways England regional director. “This is [our] biggest concrete road renewals programme.”

The first of the contracts to revitalise concrete road surfaces, a €45.7 million (£39 million) deal, was awarded earlier this year to infrastructure and engineering companies AECOM and Atkins for design, supervision and project management services.

Highways England is the wholly government-owned company responsible for modernising, maintaining and operating England’s motorways and major A roads.