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Client: Highways England

Highways England, the government-owned company responsible for managing the core road network in England, has awarded a package of contracts to a Balfour Beatty VINCI joint venture as part of the Smart Motorways Programme (SMP).  The joint venture split is 40% Taylor Woodrow/VINCI Construction Grands Projets and 60% Balfour Beatty.

This first contract, with a value of £46 million, is to convert a section of the M5 southwest of Birmingham into a "smart" motorway.  This involves making use of the hard shoulder to create a fourth lane to add extra capacity to around 18km of the M5 motorway section between junctions 4A and 6.

The project also includes real-time management of traffic flows according to traffic density, with sensors sending information to a control centre that is able to modulate speed limits via dynamic signage. The improved traffic flow will benefit thousands of motorists per day.

Also included within the SMP contract is the development phase for the M4 junctions 3 to 12 and the M6 junctions 2 to 4. The combined construction value of all three SMP contracts is in excess of £500 million and will be delivered over the next five years.

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