In 2009 work started on a massive programme to widen the M25 London orbital motorway, which will see 100km – approximately half – of the road widened from three lanes to four in a bid to accommodate ever-increasing traffic levels. The contract is part of a 30-year design, build, finance, operate (DBFO) concession for the entire motorway, and Halcrow has provided the UK’s Highways Agency with much of the advice needed to procure that DBFO contract.
The project is the biggest privately financed highways initiative in the world, and is worth over £5 billion. Halcrow played a significant role in preparing the DBFO tender, over a two-year period, and we are also involved in auditing, monitoring and review during construction, maintenance and operation of the project.
The DBFO concessionaire will be responsible for the M25’s operation and maintenance for 30 years, together with widening around 100km from three lanes to four, which is expected to take approximately eight years. One of the first priorities will be the section around east London, which will feed the Olympic Village in 2012.
Also included is maintenance and refurbishment of the Bell Common and Hatfield tunnels, at a cost of approximately £110 million. Improvements will also be carried out to the A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossings.
The operation and maintenance element of the contract covers the entire 190km orbital route, which carries 155,000 vehicles a day in places.