The Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) in the UK has selected the joint venture (JV) between Arup and Opus International for a highway network management services contract worth up to £84m.

The £7m a year, seven-year contract will have an optional extension period of five years.

Arup and Opus will work together with HCC to develop, implement and manage the technical strategies and programmes for the county’s highway network and save costs on the services.

HCC created the end-to-end whole client service model as a part of its strategy to save 20% on the costs associated with the services and the Opus-Arup JV will co-locate with the county to establish the model.

Opus chief executive and managing director David Prentice said clients are now looking for greater added value in the development and management of their infrastructure and the company is committed to working in partnerships to bring about service excellence and project success.

"We already have a strong working relationship with HCC, with Opus working for the council on a regular basis, so it is a natural partnership," Prentice added.

The joint venture is confident of providing substantial benefits to the council, which develops and implements highway asset management in the country and creates strong synergies for working in collaboration, according to Arup director Allen Paul.

UK-based Arup provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services, while Opus is an international multi-disciplinary consultancy firm.