Suffolk County Council in the UK has restarted the tender process for its £500m highway maintenance and improvement contract.

The selected firm will be responsible for the design and execution of highway maintenance and improvement works, street lighting, winter gritting, traffic signals and bridge works across the county.

In December 2012, Suffolk County Council announced Balfour Beatty Living Places as the preferred bidder for the deal, but it failed to reach an agreement with the infrastructure firm.

The contract, which was due to be executed from April 2013 and worth an initial £200m over five years, is likely to hit £500m with a possible ten-year extension.

The council said it could not confirm and clarify commitments made to the point where it can provisionally award the contract, in spite of a period of extensive and constructive discussion with Balfour Beatty Living Places.

Suffolk County Council economy, skills and environment director Lucy Robinson said that the council’s latest move does not affect its overall ambition for highway maintenance in Suffolk.

"The contract is likely to hit £500m with a possible ten-year extension."

"Providing a quality service while saving taxpayers money remains our focus and the county council is continuing work towards that aim," Robinson added.

According to the Suffolk County Council, the procurement process will revert to the previous stage where it can liaise with any, or all, of the bidders who put forward final tenders.

The process will be reopened to the shortlisted bidders, Amey, Carillion/Mott MacDonald, Enterprise Mouchel, May Gurney/WSP (MGWSP) and Balfour Beatty Living Places.

The process was open for nine months before Balfour Beatty was selected as a preferred bidder in December 2012.

Suffolk is looking to achieve £2m of recurring revenue savings in year 2013-14 under thw contract, which can run for ten years.