Highways England appoint A303 Stonehenge tunnel risk manager

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Highways England appoint a risk manager to ensure its controversial A303 Stonehenge Tunnel is delivered on time and on budget.

According to documents published on 11th December Highways England is planning to appoint a consultant to oversee delivery by the main contractor of the £1.7bn A303 Stonehenge project.

Spread over the full construction period of the project the contract will be worth a total value of £75m to the successful bidder.

According to the document the winning bidder must, 'use their expertise, understanding and analysis of the data generated during construction, to deliver proactive risk management and drive efficiencies throughout the delivery phase. They must also be able to challenge contractors processes and programme to achieve time and cost saving. A key capability will be the ability to drive a right first-time approach in all construction areas but in particular in the design, installation, commissioning and handover of tunnel systems. Highways England is seeking a partner with capability and skills that extend beyond that of providing design and construction quality assurance support and project management.'

The A303 Stonehenge project will see a 13km dual carriageway, including a 3.3km tunnel, built near the historic site. A construction contract is due to be awarded late next year with work on site expected to start in late 2022 and be completed by 2027. The main contractor will then take responsibility for a five-year maintenance period.

Highways England has placed particular emphasis on achieving this with the design, construction, commissioning and handover of the 3.3km twin-bore tunnel, which is the major element of its plans.

The main tasks include reviewing the main contractor’s mobilisation plans, analyse health and safety data and manage land requirements including relationships with landowners along the route.

The project, which has already attracted criticism from environmental campaigners since the start and as such this move is seen by many as the government-owned company's attempt to ensure it delivers a fit for purpose project on time in the wake of the Lower Thames Planning fiasco which saw an application lodged before it was promptly withdrawn just a few weeks ago.

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