Smart motorways by Vinci
The french construction and services group Vinci won a 65 million euros contract, whose aim is to transform a part of an English road into a “smart motorway”. The objective is to improve the traffic flow.
Source : commons.wikimedia.org
The contract has been attributed by the English motorways agency, Highways England, to a company, held for 40% by Vinci and 60% by Balfour Beatty. It falls within the framework of the Smart Motorway Programme (SMP) launched by Highways England.
The group will set up gantries which will provide some information, thanks to panels like for example directions on the speed limitation, on the presence of radars or traffic jam. Sensors will be put into service in order to provide information to a traffic control center which could then adjust the limitation speed by dynamic display on these panels. The management of the vehicles flow will be done in real time, depending on the density of the traffic. The hard shoulder will also be used as a fourth way.
Road works will concern an 18 km section on the M5 motorway, southwest of Birmingham.
Roads Minister, Andrew Jones, said: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we are investing more than £1.5 billion over the next five years in upgrading congested sections of motorway. This means better journeys for millions of people across the country, easier access to jobs, and stronger links between towns and cities. This is good for the economy and good for Britain”.
This initiative is part of a larger project which includes “two other projects to be realized in the five next years, including M6 and M4 motorways for some junctions” said Vinci. “Depending on the authorizations of the administrations and the value-added on the first junction, the M6 project will start in 2017/ 2018 and the M4 project in 2016/ 2017 for a total estimated value of 803 million euros. The final amounts of these last two contracts will be submitted to the Highways England approval” continued Vinci.
It isn’t the first time the French group intervenes in the motorways area in England. In 2010, Vinci realized the enlargement of the 25 and 28 junctions on the M3 motorway.