Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has been awarded a contract by Highways England for the construction of a proposed lorry area near the M20.

The contract will cover the development of the proposals during the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase of the project and will also cover the construction of the lorry area subject to a decision to proceed from Government.  The contract is valued at up to £130 million, and will be a key part of the overall £250 million lorry area, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Autumn 2015.

The Company will utilise its technological expertise across the project including the latest Building Information Modelling to define the most efficient approach to design and the construction programme, avoid programme and utility clashes, improve the works sequence and optimise the design of the structures whilst reducing time on site and cost and enhancing safety.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “Balfour Beatty’s expertise in major infrastructure projects and long standing relationship with Highways England will be crucial for the safe and successful delivery of this project. The M20 lorry area will provide much needed relief to Kent’s road networks while supporting local economic growth and development”.

At peak construction, the project could employ up to 150 construction workers and is anticipated to be partially open by the summer of 2017.

The early award of the contract will minimise potential delays to the work starting on site once the location is finalised and a decision to proceed is made.

The lorry area will accommodate approximately 3,600 lorries at capacity, providing relief to the Kent road network when services across the English Channel are disrupted and lorries are unable to travel to the continent. With the number of goods vehicles crossing from Kent forecasted to double by the mid-2020s, the lorry area will provide a much needed, long term solution to Operation Stack, the emergency procedure whereby lorries are queued on parts of the M20 when unable to cross to the continent.

The ECI phase, in which Balfour Beatty is an experienced partner, allows for optimal integration between teams, enhanced innovation, improved efficiencies and reduced costs.

Balfour Beatty is committed to delivering added social value outcomes for its projects. Plans for the lorry area include local supply chain development and growth as well as support for The Princes Trust’s Achieve Programme by building links with local schools and identifying six local apprenticeships through their Talent Match programme. This will contribute to the company’s commitment to The 5% Club and its target for apprentices, graduates and sponsored students to make up 5% of its total workforce.

Via Balfour Beatty. View original article here.