Kier has received a £ 460 million contract to design and supply an upgrade to the A417 between Gloucester and Swindon.

Procurement follows a competitive procurement process through the framework of a regional partnership for the supply of national motorways.

The A417 / A419 provides an important route between Gloucester and Swindon, which helps connect the Midlands / North with the South of England as an alternative to the M5 / M4 route through Bristol.

However, the road has a “missing link” – a three-mile stretch of A417 single-lane road between Brockworth Bypass and Cowley Roundabout in Gloucestershire. This “missing link” creates many problems for road users and those living or working in the area; congestion can be frequent and unpredictable, so some drivers deviate on local roads to avoid congestion.

This creates difficulties for the neighboring settlements and the local roads are not built to accommodate so much traffic. Poor visibility and other factors also mean that accidents, many of which are serious, often occur on this section of the road.

Work to improve this section of the A417 with a schematic includes:

  • 4 miles of new double lane connecting the existing A417 Brockworth bypass with the existing A417 double lane south of Cowley
  • the section west of the existing Air Balloon roundabout will follow the existing A417 corridor. However, the section south and east of the Air Balloon roundabout will be offline, away from the existing road corridor
  • new Shab Hill junction connecting A417 to A436 to Oxford and Birdlip
  • a new intersection near Cowley will be included, replacing Cowley’s existing roundabout
  • the existing A417 between the Air Balloon roundabout and the Cowley roundabout will be rebuilt, with some lengths of this existing road being turned into a pedestrian, cyclist and rider route, while retaining other sections to maintain local access for residents.

In the meantime, new habitats and links will be established for local wildlife habitats, including bats, bees, badgers and more.

The Kier team will include Volker, Arup, Tony Gee and RPS to prepare and build the 3.4-mile route.

Michael Goddard, director of the A417 project, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kier to move this vital scheme forward.

“Kier has extensive experience in working with National Highways and providing large-scale infrastructure projects, so we are confident that they will provide a scheme that meets our landscape-led vision. We will work together to implement a project that is committed to the special nature of the Cotswolds region of outstanding natural beauty and will support economic growth, improve peak-hour traffic and make the road safer.

Paul Baker, Kier Highways project director, said: “Providing highway infrastructure that is vital to the UK is Kier Highways’ goal and we are proud to do so by delivering the A417 contract. We look forward to working with National Highways and our supply chain partners to provide this vital infrastructure project to improve strategic road network connectivity.

“We are a national business with a local focus and throughout the project we will support the local community through employment opportunities and social value initiatives that leave a positive legacy.

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Kier wins contract to find ‘missing link’

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