DBFO1 M1/Westlink/M2

Breaking new ground with first DBFO PPP road scheme

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Project Overview

Client Department for Regional Development - Road Service
Project Value £139m
Expertise Civil Engineering
Sector Highways
Timeline February 2006 - November 2009
Location Northern Ireland
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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. In 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 – Highways Management Group (HMG). HMG (GRAHAM, Northstone Ltd and Bilfinger Berger) will operate and maintain
the network for a period of 30 years.

The detail

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 programme was delivered by almost 500 people over 2.4 million ‘man-hours’ and featured the management of 141 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 underpasses, four replacement bridges, one steel footbridge and six bridge strengthening works, the DBFO 1 project also incorporated the installation of £10 million of motorway communication systems and £7 million of services diversions. In addition, significant online widening, from two lanes to three of the existing motorway, plus widening exercises at the M1 Junction, M2 Junction and A12 were prominent components of this complex civil engineering project.

Project Gallery

“It is 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