Jacobs has won a Highways England contract worth £15m to develop possible solutions for the 150km Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project.
The work will focus on developing the corridor between the M1 and M40 motorways.
The expressway aims to improve connectivity and unlock strategic growth sites between the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge together with Milton Keynes.
Over two years, Jacobs will take the lead as stage one designers in identifying corridor and route options. The project scope also includes engineering assessment, stakeholder management and project management.
Jacobs’ buildings and infrastructure senior vice president Bob Duff, said: ‘Having worked closely with Highways England on the first section of the proposed expressway program, we look forward to integrating this experience with our proven transportation capabilities to deliver practical, strategic solutions.’
Jacobs has worked on Highways England’s Regional Investment Programme and Smart Motorways Programme.
The expressway is set to be taken forward under the second Road Investment Strategy (RIS 2) covering 2020-2025 and was the subject of one of six strategic studies to help inform the funding programme.
Last year, the Department for Transport (DfT) published a study on the proposed scheme, which set out three shortlisted route options ranging between £3bn-£3.5bn. However a DfT spokesperson said the figure was ‘speculative’.
The DfT has said the expressway could help unlock strategic growth sites including along the Knowledge Spine (Science Vale to Bicester), within Aylesbury Vale, Milton Keynes, Bedford and St Neots, Cambourne and Bourne Airfield along the A428 corridor.