Schemes worth a total of £114 million to reduce congestion and improve safety on the A46 at two busy locations in Warwickshire have taken major steps forward with the appointment of a contractor.
The £57 million M40 junction 15 improvement will provide a bypass of the A46/M40 junction 15 roundabout to the west of the junction - removing 20 per cent of traffic from the junction, reducing congestion, and improving safety for the rest of the traffic using the roundabout, the Highways Agency said.
The £57 million A45/A46 Tollbar End junction scheme will provide a two-level junction carrying the A46 under the A45 London Road to replace the existing ground level roundabout.
The HA believes this will provide "significant benefits" by reducing congestion and minor accidents at the notorious junction, which is immediately adjacent to Coventry Airport.
Both schemes will be built by Morrison Construction.
New Roads Minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman, said: "The Government is committed to improving the road network, tackling congestion and to making journeys safer for all road users.
"These major improvements will bring real benefits to traffic on these important roads and I'm delighted that, with the appointment of a contractor, we can move them closer to being completed."
The next key milestone in the schemes' development should be the publication of draft orders towards the end of this year for M40 junction 15 and spring 2006 for A45/A46 Tollbar End.
Depending on the potential need for a public inquiry, work is scheduled to start on the M40 junction 15 project in early 2007 with completion by early 2009.
During a typical day over 70,000 vehicles use the junction - with 7,000 vehicles per hour during the evening rush hour - of which some ten per cent are HGVs.