An Atkins-Arup joint venture has been awarded the design contract for the Stonehenge tunnel, a £15bn government plan to build a 1.8 mile tunnel on the A303 near Stonehenge, in a package worth £17.5m.
The A303 is a key route in the area, linking London with the south west. The contract has been awarded under a government investment scheme aimed at delivering “large scale improvements to England’s strategic roads.”
The JV will see the two engineering consultancy firms develop proposals and devise a preferred route to be taken to improve the notorious bottleneck between Amesbury and Berwick Down. All options including alternative routes will be examined in detail and will be offered for consideration at public consultation.
Andrew Alcorn of Highways England said: “This award takes us another step closer to our commitment to deliver the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down Improvement Scheme.
“Now we have Atkins/Arup on board to help with developing options for the scheme and pre-construction planning, we will be able to take the next step towards making this scheme a reality.”
Following a preferred route option announcement, Highways England will draw up a development consent order application, which will be examined in public by the Planning Inspectorate, before a final decision is made by the Transport Secretary.
Construction work on the scheme is anticipated to start by April 2020, subject to public consultation.