Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £130 million contract to construct a 3,600-space lorry park near the M20 in Kent to relieve congestion during Operation Stack.
The contract will cover the development of the proposals during the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase of the project and will also cover the construction of the lorry area subject to a decision to proceed from government. The contract is valued at up to £130m, and will be a key part of the overall £250m lorry area, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Autumn 2015.
The company will utilise the latest Building Information Modelling to define the most efficient approach to design and the construction programme, avoid programme and utility clashes, improve the works sequence and optimise the design of the structures whilst reducing time on site and cost and enhancing safety.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty group chief executive, said: “Balfour Beatty’s expertise in major infrastructure projects and long standing relationship with Highways England will be crucial for the safe and successful delivery of this project. The M20 lorry area will provide much needed relief to Kent’s road networks while supporting local economic growth and development.”
At peak construction, the project could employ up to 150 construction workers and is anticipated to be partially open by the summer of 2017.
The lorry area will accommodate approximately 3,600 lorries at capacity, providing relief to the Kent road network when services across the English Channel are disrupted and lorries are unable to travel to the continent. With the number of goods vehicles crossing from Kent forecasted to double by the mid-2020s, the lorry area will provide a much needed, long term solution to Operation Stack, the emergency procedure whereby lorries are queued on parts of the M20 when unable to cross to the continent.