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M25 record deal

One of the biggest road deals in UK history is expected as ministers combine the widening of three sections of the M25 into a single contract.

The £5 billion, 30-year contract is expected to be announced before Christmas and is likely to send contractors into a bidding frenzy. The contract will involve the widening of all of the remaining three-lane sections of the M25 to four lanes and cover 62 miles of the London orbital motorway.

Construction sources at The Times expect the Highways Agency to finalise a shortlist of three bidders by early next year, but a financial close is not expected until early 2008.

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