Major highways contract awarded to Joint Venture

Kent County Council has awarded one of its largest ever highways contracts to a VolkerFitzpatrick HOCHTIEF joint venture for phase two of the East Kent Access scheme.

The £62.5m contract involves the construction of 8km of dual carriageway as well as a jacked box structure required to construct 105m of the dual carriage way underneath the existing Ramsgate to Canterbury railway line.

Kent County Council awarded the contract to the joint venture after receiving preferred contractor status earlier this year. VolkerFitzpatrick and HOCHTIEF will be working alongside Kent Highway Services and its agent Jacobs.

Alastair Thompson, director of major projects, said: "There are a number of challenges involved in this project, we have been working on the detailed design of these areas of the project with Kent County Council for some time, and we are delighted to be starting work on the ground.

"The jacked box will be a unique structure designed specifically to ensure there is no disruption to rail services as well as minimising potential disruption in this mainly residential area of Cliffsend."

The investment being made in the East Kent Access scheme will improve significant sections of the A299 alongside Kent International Airport and the A256 between Ramsgate and Sandwich.

Work is expected to start next month with initial works involving extensive archaeological investigation and the preservation of any significant findings. The project will take approximately 36 months.