September’s top stories: NHAI selected Louis Berger, HE to open Manchester's smart motorway

NHAI selected Louis Berger to provide consultancy services, and Highways England planned to open the first phase of Manchester's £208m smart motorway. Roadtraffic-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from September.


Louis Berger secured road upgrade contracts in India

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) selected Louis Berger to provide consultancy services for the preparation of detailed designs to upgrade two roads with a combined length of around 820km. 

Through these road packages in southern India under the Bharatmala-Pariyojna scheme, the government aims to develop economic and interstate transport corridors, feeder routes and coastal thoroughfares in a bid to improve freight movement in the country.

Louis Berger Asia senior vice-president and managing director Kshitish Nadgauda said: "We are honoured to support India’s objectives for two of its key road projects to better serve motorists across several states.


HE planned to open first phase of Manchester’s smart motorway

Highways England (HE) made plans to open the first phase of Manchester's £208m smart motorway later this year in order to improve journey times and address congestion. 

The first phase will include a five-mile stretch of the M62 near Rochdale and a two-mile road stretch of the M60 near Trafford Centre. 

Highways England senior project manager Jon Stokes said: "We will be able to begin a phased opening of the new smart motorway scheme this autumn, benefitting the 180,000 drivers who use the route every day.


CPB Contractors to upgrade Pacific Highway in Australia

CIMIC Group’s subsidiary CPB Contractors secured a A$365m ($290m) contract from the Roads and Maritime Services in Australia for upgrade works on the Devils Pulpit to Richmond River section of the Woolgoolga and Ballina Pacific Highway in northern New South Wales (NSW). 

Upgrade works include conversion of Pacific Highway to two lanes in each direction, building seven new bridges, and associated road works consisting of ground treatments, earthworks and road surfacing. 

As part of the project works, CPB Contractors will be responsible for delivering 34km Pacific Highway upgrade linking the Maclean to Devils Pulpit section to the south and the Richmond River to Ballina Bypass section in the north.


Siemens received traffic management contract for Northern Ireland

Siemens secured a contract from the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to provide improved signal solutions, as well as maintain traffic management equipment over four years. 

Under the contract, the company will be responsible for providing high-level equipment availability and also respond to any faults that may occur on the equipment and promptly fix issues within a specified time period.

NI Department for Infrastructure ITS head Roy Gordon said: "Siemens is a well-established service provider in Northern Ireland and we already have an excellent working relationship with the company.


DPWH planned to build three bypass roads in Iloilo, Philippines

The Philippines Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) made plans to build three major bypass road projects in Passi City, and the towns of Zaraga, and Barotac Nuevo. 

These projects will be built along the national highways in the northern and central parts of Iloilo Province, in order to reduce traffic congestion in the region. 

The three projects will be undertaken with a total investment of PHP394m ($7.7m). 


Queensland opened Bruce Highway / Boundary Road interchange

Queensland's Boundary Road interchange officially opened on the Bruce Highway, north of Brisbane in Australia, after completing A$100.4m ($80.4m) of upgrade works. 

The project was reported to have been completed six months ahead of schedule. 

Australia Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said: “This project is a great example of how the Australian Government’s investment in infrastructure is improving lives and saving lives at the grassroots. 


ADB approved $800m to improve road connectivity in Pakistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved financing of $800m for improvement of regional connectivity and trade in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors in Pakistan.

The multitranche financing facility (MFF) will be used to further improve road traffic efficiency, as well as enhance Pakistan’s regional connectivity links.

Initially, road infrastructure in Pakistan’s Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions will be rehabilitated and upgraded this year using MFF’s first tranche, which is worth $180m. 


Maryland planned to improve transport infrastructure with addition of four new lanes

The Government of Maryland in the US made plans to improve its traffic infrastructure with the addition of four new lanes to the I-270, the Capital Beltway (I-495), and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295).

The works will be part of the $9bn Traffic Relief Plan, which has been designed to reduce traffic congestion on some of Maryland’s most travelled roads and highways.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said: “These three massive, unprecedented projects to widen I-495, I-270, and MD 295 will be absolutely transformative, and they will help Maryland citizens go about their daily lives in a more efficient and safer manner.

“Today, we are turning Maryland’s celebrated innovation into real action. These projects will substantially and dramatically improve our state highway system and traffic in the region.”


TfL refused to issue private hire operator licence to Uber London

The UK's Transport for London (TfL) informed that it will not issue a private hire operator licence to Uber London after expiry of its existing licence on 30 September.

TfL concluded that the company is not fit and proper to hold such a licence to operate in London.

Trade union Good Morning Britain (GMB) and global consumer group SumOfUs handed in a 100,000-strong mass petition to City Hall on 18 September and urged TfL to force Uber to respect workers’ rights or get out of England capital.

Uber’s licence to operate in London was under review and granted a four-month extension in May this year.


Ashghal opened first phase of Olympic Intersection in Qatar

Qatar’s Public Works Authority Ashghal officially opened the first phase of the Olympic Intersection project, which included converting a major roundabout into a signal-controlled intersection.  

Works covered in this phase include the opening of three lanes in each direction at the intersection, installation of traffic signals, as well as drainage network, and renewing deteriorating utilities’ pipes. 

Ashghal planned to open the second phase of the Olympic Intersection in October, featuring the introduction of a new traffic signal that provides three lanes to turn left, in addition to a lane specifically for U-turns.