A history of collaboration and early contractor involvement

Client: Government Infrastructure Agencies: Highways England, Welsh Government, Local Authorities. Main Contractors: Costain, Carillion, Skanska, Balfour Beatty. Nuclear New Build: EDF, Horizon

Value: £2 million of consultancy over the last 16 years across 28 earthworks projects worth over £600 million


  • 16 years of ECI
  • £2 million of consultancy
  • Earthworks projects worth over £600m


In the late 1990’s, a shift away from the traditional form of contracting began in the UK with the implementation of increased input and collaboration from contractors during the design stage of major infrastructure projects. The idea was that integrating actual construction and buildability knowledge into the design would greatly improve the efficiency of the design process and ultimately prevent significant changes being required during the construction phase of the project.

Walters have offered an Early Contractor Involvement service since becoming involved in the A43 Silverstone Bypass project in 2001 undertaken in partnership with the Highways Agency, Costain, Skanska and Mott MacDonald. The project notably suffered a 12-week delay as a result of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak. This period was used by Walters and the delivery team to re-balance the earthworks design and keep 1.5 million m³ of material on site in adjacent re-profiled landscaped farmland. This subtle but significant change enabled the 12-week delay to be negated and the scheme to be delivered on time and on budget.

Since then, Walters have worked with Highways England, Welsh Government numerous Local Authorities and their delivery partners on some of the most important infrastructure projects in the UK. Whilst this would previously involve short periods of intense earthworks modelling and design change immediately before commencement of works, now we often become involved in the highway design several years in advance of construction.


With a background in major reclamation civil engineering and surface mining since the early 1980’s, Walters have a long track record of pioneering 3D terrain modelling and volumetric technology in both the design of opencast mines and complex civil engineering earthworks. We were the second ever user of McCarthy Taylor’s LSS 3D terrain modelling software in April 1989 and now have 21 LSS licences across the company. We have for many years worked with companies like LSS to refine and develop their software due to our position as industry leaders in its implementation. This in house expertise, combined with our machine control capability ensures right first time design and operationally efficient delivery.

Other Projects