Highways England appoint WSP to design two smart motorways worth £2.6m

WSP has been appointed as the designer for two new smart motorway projects worth £2.6m which aim to improve capacity and connectivity in key corridor areas across the UK.

Highways England has awarded the two contracts to the engineering consultancy for work on the M62, junction 20 to 25, linking Yorkshire and Lancashire, and the A1 (M) junction 6 to 8 near Stevenage. 

Both projects will include the design and delivery of new infrastructure to transform these sections of road into an All Lane Running Smart Motorways - permanently converting the hard shoulder into a running lane to add much needed additional capacity and supporting economic growth.

Stretching 31km through the Pennines, the four lane M62 smart motorway link will support the Northern Powerhouse agenda by providing improved east-west connectivity between major cities. 

On the A1(M) an existing two-lane section around Stevenage will be upgraded to three lanes to improve capacity and encourage economic growth in England’s economic heartland. Nearby towns such as Harlow and Cambridge are expected to experience significant growth with potential for housing development along the route to accommodate up to 13,000 new homes by 2030.

Commenting on the appointment, WSP’s Smart Roads programme director, Phil Barton, said: “These new upgrade schemes will help capacity and connectivity in key corridor areas across the UK.  We will work collaboratively with Highways England and supply chain partners to deliver its smart motorway network of the future and implement innovative technologies to enhance safety, reduce congestion and smooth traffic flows for customers using the network.”

The latest win by WSP adds to their growing portfolio of smart motorway projects. Last week the firm revealed it had been successful in attaining the £104m smart motorway contract upgrading the M62 between Warrington and Manchester. The company will support a BAM Nuttall Morgan Sindall joint venture (JV) on the scheme, which is earmarked for between junctions ten and 12.

The company says it more than equipped to take on the plethora of work with more than 2,000 technical experts in disciplines such as structures, highways, geotech, and environmental teams complemented by its Intelligent Transport Services specialist expertise in customer experience, innovation, mobility and technology.

Other Smart Motorway schemes currently involving WSP include the M4 (J3 – 12); M6 (J21a – 26); M27 (J4-11), and M62 J10-12, as well as a 32-mile stretch of the M1 between junction 28 near Mansfield and junction 35a north of Sheffield, in collaboration with delivery partner Costain; the £330m project, which opened in 2017, is the longest smart motorway section implemented to date.

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