Skanska Balfour Beatty, a construction joint venture working on behalf of Connect Plus for the Highways Agency, has won a prestigious sustainability award for its project to upgrade 12 miles of the M25.
At the Construction News Awards 2014, the project to transform the M25 between Junctions 5 and 7 to ‘Smart’ motorway, which included converting the hard shoulder to support permanent running and installing new technology to improve traffic flow, was recognised as that which delivered sustainable economic benefits above other major projects.
The judges commented on the way the project had delivered major cost and time savings to its customer through ensuring that existing structures were retained, that the project was an importer and not an exporter of waste and that over 90% of materials came from recycled or reclaimed sources. They also said that the project delivered a strong commitment to local community with good consultation with local residents and businesses.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) was used extensively to provide real-time information to the construction teams and allowed improvements to the design, maximising environmental benefits and an electronic sign-off system reduced project delays and contributed to the saving of £55 million on initial project budget projections.
Kieran McGibbon, Skanska Balfour Beatty Engineering Director, said: “This project is a really great example of how we at Skanska Balfour Beatty go about putting sustainability into action. It has produced some excellent environmental benefits compared to previous major highway upgrades and generated real economic advantages saving our customer and the taxpayer millions of pounds not only in project costs but in providing better journeys to road users sooner than envisaged.”
Head of Communications
Skanska Balfour Beatty
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- Members of the Skanska Balfour Beatty project team collecting the award for Sustainable Project of the Year at the Construction News Awards 2014.
Notes to editors:
- Key findings from research published in March 2011 show that accidents have more than halved since hard shoulder running was introduced on 10.5 miles of M42 (J3a to J7), to the east of Birmingham; with journey times improved between the M40 J16, near Lapworth, and M6 J5, near Birmingham.
- The first hard shoulder running scheme was introduced on the M42 J3a-7 in 2006 as a pilot scheme. This was followed by M6 J4 to J5 scheme in 2009 and the M6 J8 to J10A scheme in 2011. The system is known as smart motorways and uses variable speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder as an additional traffic lane. The operational changes to the M40 J16-3A and M42 J7-9 which were completed in August 2009 are known as controlled motorways. This involves the use of features such as variable speed limits but without hard shoulder running. Skanska Balfour Beatty is a construction joint venture formed in 2009 to deliver improvements to reduce congestion on the M25 and adjoining routes for the M25 Connect Plus design-build-finance-and-operate concession, on behalf of the Highways Agency.
- Skanska Balfour Beatty completed a 61 kilometre Managed Motorway upgrade of the M25 in 2011 between Junctions 16 to 23 and Junctions 27 to 30 in 2011.
- Skanska Balfour Beatty is currently upgrading 46 further kilometres of the M25 to Managed Motorway between Junctions 5 & 7 through Kent and Surrey and between Junctions 23 and 27 through Hertfordshire. The projects are due to be complete by 2015.