August's top stories: UK electric road trials, Vinci-led group wins $1.44bn deal
A Vinci-led consortium wins $1.44bn Regina bypass contract in Canada, construction begins on $656m Torrens Road to River Torrens section in South Australia, electric highway trials to begin in UK in 2015. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from August 2015.
French firm Vinci Concessions-led consortium Regina Bypass Partners signed a 30-year public private partnership (PPP) contract with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to build a highway bypass around the Canadian city of Regina.
With a share of 37.5%, Vinci leads the consortium that includes Parsons Enterprises with 25%, Connor Clark & Lunn GVest fund with 25% and Gracorp Capital with 12.5% stake.
The C$1.9bn ($1.44bn) Regina Bypass project was the first PPP transport infrastructure project in Saskatchewan.
Australia's Queensland Government awarded an A$1.6bn ($1.14bn) contract to a Nexus consortium to deliver the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.
The consortium includes Transfield Services, Plenary Group, Cintra Infraestructuras Internacional, Acciona Concesiones, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Ferrovial Agroman Australia.
Under the deal, the consortium will be responsible for providing road design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions for the 41km highway in Toowoomba.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) completed installation of a highway traffic management system (HTMS) on Sri Lanka's Southern Expressway spanning from Colombo to Matara, a distance of 120km.
The HTMS is expected to contribute significantly to improve road traffic safety and reduced congestion on a local expressway.
The construction work was carried out under a grant-in-aid provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The South Australian Government announced that major construction works have started on the A$896m ($656m) upgrade of the Torrens Road to River Torrens section of the North-South Corridor.
In addition to strengthening the productive capacity of Adelaide's transport network, the project will also support 480 jobs a year during construction.
The 3.7km upgrade will deliver a 3km section of non-stop roadway along one of the busiest sections of the North-South Corridor, significantly reducing congestion and delays.
Highways England in the UK announced plans to start off-road trials of the new technology needed to power electric and hybrid vehicles on the country's major roads.
The new technology will allow electric and hybrid vehicles to automatically recharge as they drive along major roads and motorways.
The trials will take place later this year following the completion of a feasibility study commissioned by Highways England.
Leighton Contractors secured a $267m contract from the New Zealand (NZ) Transport Agency to upgrade Auckland's Southern Corridor to improve traffic flows on State Highway 1 between Manukau and Papakura.
The project is one of four government accelerated transport projects for the Auckland region and the transport agency's second to be delivered following the State Highway 20A to Airport project.
Work will include southbound widening to four lanes between SH20 and Hill Road and to three lanes between Hill Road and Papakura, as well as northbound widening to three lanes from Papakura to Takanini.
A new road rage simulator was developed by psychologists and interactive game developers at Australia's University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) to help increase the driver safety.
The simulator is designed to offer an interactive experience that evaluates drivers in frustrating driving conditions while measuring stress indicators, such as heartbeat and blood pressure, ABC reported.
In particular, the simulator is said to keep drivers calm and safe by enabling them to interact with each other from their vehicles. For example, the scientists are hoping to study road range and stress by putting three drivers in a stressful merging situation together, wherein they are likely to see and hear the responses of the others.
The UK's Highways England scheduled to start a £6.4m project later this year to replace Merafield Bridge on the A38 at Plympton.
Located alongside the old bridge, the new concrete bridge will be 80m-long, 11.3m-wide and will be made of 2,503t of concrete and 401t of steel.
The new bridge will ensure the A38 and Merafield Road stays open to traffic for many years to come.