French contractor Vinci has been named the preferred bidder for a £800 million (€950 million) 25-year UK road upgrade and maintenance contract.
The London Borough of Hounslow shortlisted Vinci for the public finance initiative (PFI) which involves maintaining its 432km of roads and 763km of pavements. The contract, which is subject to the approval of the UK Department for Transport (DfT), is expected to start in January 2013.
Vinci subsidiaries Vinci Concessions and Ringway, a sub-division of the contractor's road-building division Eurovia, will work together in a consortium known as Vinci Ringway on the project.
The first five years of the contract will see Vinci Ringway make an initial investment of £100 million (€119 million) to upgrade the road network, which will then be maintained to the council's improved standard for the rest of the contract.
The DfT has granted funding of £14 million (€16.7 million) a year for the scheme for 25 years, with the London Borough of Hounslow funding the rest of the contract payments.
The deal will include upgrading and improving roads, pavements, street lights, street cleaning, signs, street furniture such as benches and bollards, as well as drains and gutters across the borough.
Councillor Corinna Smart, cabinet member for environment at the council, said, "We know our roads and pavements are in poor condition, and to get them up to the standard we want would cost more money than we could ever afford. This PFI provides an affordable way of tackling the problem and getting shot of the grot."