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Project Overview

Client Department for Regional Development- Road Service (as of 2016 the Department of Infrastructure)

Project Value £115million

Key Contact Dave Brown – Contracts Director

Expertise Civil Engineering

Division Highways

Timeline February 2006 to November 2009

Location Northern Ireland

DBFO1 M1/Westlink/M2

Pushing the boundaries, setting the standard

Project Summary 

Estimated to have saved the local economy £25 million by way of the advanced opening of a key programme road (Broadway Underpass), 13 months ahead of schedule, the Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) 1 project has transformed Northern Ireland's most important motorway and infrastructure network. The first road scheme procured using the DBFO form of Public Private Partnership, we were the lead economic operator in the design, construction and finance of the road improvements through a Joint Venture with three companies in equal share. 


design drawings


'man hours'


project value

GRAHAM's solution 

Valued at £115 million, the ambitious DBFO 1 project involved the upgrade of the motorway network into Belfast from the North and South, as well as the enhancement of the A12 Westlink. Split into four schemes, the 45-month programe was delievered by almost 500 people over 2.4 million 'man-hours' and featured the management of 11 suppliers and 80 sub-contractors. 

Completed five-months ahead of schedule, with each key milestone similarly achieved early, the project was notable for its high quality design - achieved through our effective coordination of multi-discipline engineers. Inclusive of two underpassses, four replacement bridges, one steel footbridge and six bridge strenthening works, the DBFO 1 project also incorperated the installation of £10 million of motorway communication systems and £7 million  of services diversion. 

In addition, significant online widening, from two lanes to three of the existing motorway, plus widening exercises at the M1 junction, M2 junction and the A12 were prominent components of this complex civil engineering project. 


"Given the complexity of this project and the difficulties that the construction team faced I welcome the early completion of this project some five months ahead of programme. it is also important to acknowledge the contractor's excellent safety record on this major scheme, which has been delivered without any serious accidents "

Conor Murphy Roads Minister