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Highways England starts search for £7bn smart motorways alliance

A contract notice worth £7bn has been issued by Highways England today which looks to appoint six partners in the creation of its Smart Motorway Programme Alliance (SMP Alliance) over a 10-year period.

Under the proposal, Highways England aim to drive innovation and efficiency through increased standardisation and would involve the employment of three tier one contractors, two digitally enabled designers and a new production management specialist as part of a three-stage process covering design, off-site production and logistics, and on-site assembly.

The alliance will develop, design, and build multiple road schemes under a single contract. It represents a new procurement model for the roads body to deliver its entire smart motorways programme using a production line approach.

Highways England say the work will increase lane capacity on all parts of the strategic road network through embedding technology and converting hard shoulders to all-lane running.

Furthermore, where required, the SMP Alliance will also deliver associated works to co-ordinate the wider programme of works. The alliance may also support Highways England to deliver the wider autonomous and connected vehicles road implementation strategy.

The organisation announced back in January that it would be engaging with its supply chain to support the development of a new procurement model to deliver for Smart Motorways. The thinking behind the change is said to provide an incentive model which provides confidence in the contractual programme budget, and provides additional opportunity for reward.

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