News listings

Balfour Beatty awarded £129 million UK ‘smart motorway’ scheme to upgrade M3

23 July 2014

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, today announces the award of a £129 million scheme to upgrade a 13.4 mile stretch of the M3 through Hampshire and Surrey to a ‘smart motorway’.   The upgrade, for the UK Government’s Highways Agency, will increase capacity, reduce congestion and shorten journey times for the 120,000 motorists who pass through this part of the network every day.

The M3 between Junction 2 (interchange with the M25) and Junction 4a (Fleet) will be upgraded to a four-lane motorway by converting the hard shoulder to a permanent running lane. Electronic signs, operated by a regional control centre, will be installed to manage the flow of traffic in response to dri­ving con­di­tions.

Mobilisation work is due to start at the beginning of August. Main construction works is due to start this autumn with completion scheduled for spring 2017.   Construction activity will include installing and refurbishing gantries, new static and variable signs, concrete safety barriers, drainage and surfacing works.

The contract is the latest in a series awarded to Balfour Beatty since the company was appointed to the Highways Agency's National Major Projects Framework in 2010.  In June 2014, Balfour Beatty was awarded the £184 million M60 J8 to M62 J20 smart motorway scheme.  In April 2014 the company’s construction joint venture with Skanska completed upgrading a 12 mile stretch of the M25 to a smart motorway, and in January 2014 Balfour Beatty completed upgrading parts of the M4 and M5 to a smart motorway in a £88 million scheme. 

Balfour Beatty Executive Chairman Steve Marshall said: "The Highways Agency’s approach to using technology in this way reduces the costs of the road network, pro­vid­es addi­tional capac­ity and improv­es jour­ney times. This award further strengthens our position as one of the UK’s leading contractors for smart motorways and reflects the strength of the relationship we have built with the Highways Agency over the last 20 years. ” 

The M3 passes through Chobham Common, one of the largest areas of heathland in Surrey, and   Balfour Beatty’s sustainable design will take into account ecological considerations with natural habitats reinstated and enhanced.  

M4 Motorway

Find out more about our UK Construction Services Division 

Analyst/investor enquiries:
Anoop Kang
Tel. +44 (0)20 7216 6913
anoop.kang@balfourbeatty.com

Media enquiries:
Dominic Cheetham
Tel. +44 (0)20 7963 4235
dominic.cheetham@balfourbeatty.com

Notes to editors:

  1. Balfour Beatty is a leading road designer, constructor, asset manager and maintenance provider in the UK. Projects carried out include traditional work through to the more complex design-build-finance-operate (DBFO), smart motorway and early contractor involvement (ECI) schemes. Since 2009 Balfour Beatty has been in partnership with Skanska, Atkins and Egis to deliver the £6.2 billion M25 DBFO project for the Highways Agency, including the widening of the motorway to four lanes and conversion to all-lane running, or ‘smart’ technology. 

    Other schemes delivered recently include the £371 million A3 Hindhead Tunnel, the £88 million M4/M5 ‘smart motorway’ scheme and the £360 million A46 Newark to Widmerpool Improvement Scheme. Balfour Beatty also  operates the strategic road network on behalf of the Highways Agency in Area 4 (Kent, Surrey and East Sussex) and Area 10 (Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside), and operates the latest generation road technology maintenance contracts (RTMC), for the Highways Agency in the North West and the Midlands. 
     
  2. Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is an international infrastructure group that delivers world class services essential to the development, creation and care of infrastructure assets; from finance and development, through design and project management to construction and maintenance.

    Our businesses draw on more than 100 years of experience to deliver the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise to our clients principally in the UK and the USA, with developing businesses in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, South Africa and South East Asia. With proven expertise in delivering infrastructure critical to support communities and society today and in the future, our key market sectors focus on infrastructure - transportation (roads, rail and aviation), power and energy, water, and complex buildings (both commercial and social).

    Balfour Beatty employs 40,000 people around the world.