Press Release

A bridge over water: Balfour Beatty VINCI joint venture features in New Civil Engineer

8 July 2020


The Balfour Beatty VINCI M4 Smart Motorway Upgrade team features, alongside client Highways England, in an exclusive interview with New Civil Engineer.

In the interview, the collaborative team shares the complexities of the most challenging aspect of the M4 project to date: the widening of the Thames Bray bridge. Balancing traffic management, the restoration of a 60-year-old bridge as well as adapting to new ways of working during COVID-19, proved the team’s advanced engineering and design expertise.

In order to deliver the works efficiently, the Balfour Beatty VINCI team approached the construction phase with an innovative solution: building the extended bridge elements on an adjacent site and positioning and moving them into their final position over a single weekend.  

Speaking about this solution, Mike Fowler, Balfour Beatty VINCI Engineering Director explained; “Due to the scale of the bridge, removing it and then constructing a new bridge was not a viable solution. Instead it was possible to look at the geometry of the structure and come up with a solution that involves asymmetric widening, so we only widen on the north side of the structure.

“As we’re not impacting the south side of the structure, it’s a significantly less costly operation and there is less impact on the network and consequently the road user.”

With the bulk of work on Thames Bray now complete, the scheme has reached its halfway milestone, having faced limited delays during the COVID-19 pandemic and thus remains on track for completion by Spring 2022.

To find out more about the engineering complexities of this project, you can read the article in full here and for further insights into the project and the people behind the works, watch our film here.


Media enquiries to:
Megan Wood
Balfour Beatty
+44 (0)203 810 2345 | follow us @balfourbeatty

All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or

Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty VINCI represents a powerhouse for critical infrastructure across Rail, transport and other iconic projects in the UK and beyond. Balfour Beatty VINCI’s involvement in groundbreaking Design Build Finance and Operation (DBFO) projects offers a unique end-to-end asset knowledge that is crucial in developing the best solutions to the infrastructure needs of the UK.
  • Balfour Beatty and VINCI started working together over 30 years ago when both were members of the TransManche Link consortium which delivered the Channel Tunnel.
  • As leading infrastructure groups, both Balfour Beatty and VINCI Construction offer opportunities for trainees, apprentices, placement students and graduates as well as sponsored degree opportunities

About Balfour Beatty:

  • Balfour Beatty ( is a leading international infrastructure group. With 26,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
  • Our main geographies are the UK, US and Hong Kong. Over the last 111 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

About VINCI:

  • VINCI is represented by its subsidiaries: VINCI Construction Grands Projects, VINCI Construction UK and VINCI Construction Terrassement.
  • VINCI is a global player in concessions and construction, employing more than 220,000 people in some 100 countries. We design, finance, build and operate infrastructure and facilities that help improve daily life and mobility for all. Because we believe in all-round performance, above and beyond economic and financial results, we are committed to operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. And because our projects are in the public interest, we consider that reaching out to all our stakeholders and engaging in dialogue with them is essential in the conduct of our business activities. VINCI’s goal is to create long-term value for its customers, shareholders, employees, and partners and for society at large.
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