• I'm keen to learn about intelligent mobility from Atkins

Roads & Bridges

Print Bookmark

Delivering an appropriate and sustainable transportation network for the 21st century is an exciting challenge. Atkins is committed to planning, designing and enabling our clients’ transportation programmes.


Transport is a vital element of enabling a functioning economy. As global demand to travel for business, leisure and to find work increases, transport infrastructure needs to cope with both the demands of today and the needs of future generations.

Atkins’ teams around the world are working on projects that will help to shape the future of transportation – designing structures that connect cities and towns, managing highways assets and ensuring that sustainable solutions really work.

The challenge we face in providing an appropriate transport network for the 21st Century and beyond is great but not insurmountable. Atkins does not take this responsibility lightly and we work closely with clients and partners across government, financial institutions, private developers and contractors to build sustainable infrastructure for the future.

Atkins works in partnership with clients, taking ownership of their challenges to deliver real outcomes and long term benefits. We continually strive for excellence, both in the projects we work on and the way we develop both our business and our people. By investing in our staff we ensure that on a day-to-day basis technical challenges are met, delivering the best results for clients.


View all

Atkins’ graduate wins the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation West Midlands Young Professional Award – 11 April 2017

Atkins’ transportation graduate, Elise Nolan has been awarded the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) West Midlands Young Professional Award 2017. The award celebrates individual excellence and recognises the significant professional contribution that Elise has made within the highways and transportation field.


Richrath joins Atkins, leads digital asset management in North America - March 24, 2017

Atkins, one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, welcomes Scott Richrath as director of digital asset management (dAM) for North America. Richrath will lead efforts to introduce clients to emerging technologies that help streamline infrastructure preservation and management, and make critical data and information...


Barfield joins Atkins as senior project director - February 7, 2017

James “Tommy” Barfield, PE, has joined Atkins’ department of transportation (DOT) business unit as senior project director, bringing 30 years of management in multimodal planning and transportation design to the firm.


Atkins' CEO interviewed by CNBC at World Economic Forum summit - 20 January 2017

Prof Dr Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ Group CEO, appeared on CNBC’s Squawkbox programme this morning from the World Economic Forum summit in Davos and talked about need for US infrastructure spending. He was interviewed by lead anchors Steve Sedgwick and Geoff Cutmore.




Whether it’s the improvement of strategic links, modelling pedestrian flows in town centres or developing information systems for public transport, we plan, design and enable solutions.

Transport planning and policy

Atkins provides clients with the full range of transport planning capabilities tailored to their specific needs. Our expertise spans three main areas – policy and guidance, professional advice, and scheme design and implementation.

Highways infrastructure design

Our understanding of transport needs, in-depth experience and exceptional skills make us a world leader in the development and design of highways infrastructure. We understand the vital role transport improvements have in ensuring safe and reliable road networks, integrated transport services and accessible city centres.

Intelligent transport systems

Atkins is the UK’s leading intelligent transport systems (ITS) provider. We plan all aspects of our clients' ITS schemes, developing strategies and business plans to meet today's complex transportation needs. We also enable the delivery of these strategies by providing managed services to help our clients improve the performance of their ITS infrastructure, ensuring more efficient and reliable networks.


View all

Daniel McDuff
25 Apr 2017

Often roads are a means to an end, but that kind of thinking is starting to change. Greenroads International, an independent, nonprofit organization, uses it’s Greenroads® Rating System to certify transportation projects based on environmental, social and economic responsibility. Using this system allows us to build roads that strike a balance between critical transportation infrastructure improvements, and natural resource preservation. We’ve all seen the trend toward greener buildings in recent years. The architecture industry follows the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED rating system. The Greenroads® Rating System is our industry equivalent—the most widely used transportation sustainability rating system in the world. The third-party, point-based system was launched in 2010. There are now over 110 Greenroads projects around the world, valued at more than $18 billion. Greenroads certification is more than just incorporating environmentally sound construction practices into projects. Roadways impact communities, the environment, and other surrounding areas. A good example of how Greenroads projects address these concerns is Austin’s 183 South project. Austin’s 183 South is currently the largest construction project in the region, and the biggest the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (the Mobility Authority) has ever undertaken. Consistent with their core value of sustainability, the Mobility Authority is pursuing certification for the 183 South project through the Greenroads® Rating System, which, if approved, could make it the largest highway project in the country with this designation. The project enhances roadway capacity for bicyclists, pedestrians, and more than 60,000 drivers a day in East Austin while preserving recreational and environmental

North America ,

Ernie Edgar
20 Apr 2017

Worthwhile pursuits require risk; how you manage that risk is often the difference between success and failure. It’s the defining factor in whether a project is commercially rewarding, unfruitful, or worse, a catastrophe. Delivery models for new projects are changing, shifting the design risk from the owner to the contractor. Better the risk you know, than the risk you don’t; let’s get to know the risks, shall we? For much of the last century, design-bid-build was the conventional project delivery method. In this model, the owner contracts with the project designer (who creates and delivers the design), and then the owner solicits bids from contractors. The completed design allows the contractor to bid the project at a fixed price thereby providing a measure of certainty in overall project cost and liability. Today, there is a trend toward new project delivery models; the design/build model is quickly becoming one of the most common. Design/build brings the design and construction of the project under the purview of one contractor. That contractor bids the project based on the conceptual vision of the owner. This project delivery model is intended to expand project financing, contain project costs, compress project delivery schedules, and reduce project claims and litigation. In the public sector, this approach has given rise to public-private partnerships (P3) which can offer not only turnkey delivery, but also privately-funded project finance, operations, and maintenance to stretch limited tax dollars to meet sophisticated infrastructure needs. These are the benefits, but what are the risks? In

North America ,

Chris Birdsong
19 Apr 2017

OBOR has the potential to be the world’s largest platform for regional collaboration. The infrastructure projects will stimulate economic growth and build legacy for countries along the way. How much would such a transformational programme cost?   It is estimated that the total cost lies somewhere between $4 and $8 trillion US dollars, meaning that realising the full potential of the OBOR initiative is beyond even the investment ability of the Chinese government and institutions, and is therefore going to need significant private sector involvement.  This, however, means that each element of the initiative needs to have a positive investment case in order to attract financing. Whilst we are already seeing a shift amongst Chinese agencies and institutions towards broader funding avenues such as pension funds, overseas sovereign wealth funds and private equity funds, further private sector involvement is required due to the ambitious scale of the projects. This brings a range of wider considerations in attracting private sector investment. Whilst it is well known that investment is available in the market, matching this to viable projects is the critical gap that OBOR, like many other major projects, needs to address. Based on my experiences with Atkins and Atkins Acuity, the advisory business of the Atkins Group, there are seven areas that a private sector investor would consider when an opportunity is presented. Bankable and technically feasible projects. Detailed feasibility studies and robust business cases are important to attract investors who will often require high quality information on which

Asia Pacific ,

Donna Huey
12 Apr 2017

Due to a backlog of “shovel ready” projects nationwide, and required annual letting volumes that exceed $5B in the coming years, DOTs across the country are looking to increase the efficiency of their project delivery models to meet the anticipated dollar volume requirements. Civil Integrated Management (CIM) can help meet the challenge but will take time to realize—the quicker we’re willing to learn and adapt, the faster we’ll become more profitable. Think of it this way. A hand saw and a power saw both accomplish the same task, but the power saw will get it done faster—and better. Engineers should look at CIM the same way. And as thought leaders in our industry, we have a responsibility to help meet the challenges ahead by assisting clients in delivering their work programs more efficiently through the innovative use of technologies across the project life-cycle. CIM is defined by the Federal Highway Association (FHWA) as the technology-enabled process of collection, organization, managed accessibility, and the use of accurate data and information throughout the life-cycle of a transportation asset. Simply put, CIM is a win. It’s an innovative process that will best serve our clients moving forward. Our job is to help agencies make the transition from 2-D CAD deliverables and processes to a 3-D model data environment. Using CIM, we will be able to deliver work programs faster and within budget with minimal claims and variations. How? By improving on-site job safety and reducing the change orders caused by utility coordination conflicts between engineering

North America ,


View all

Responding to a recent population boom, Colorado Department of Transportation has taken a bold step to effect change and transform its aging transportation system by embracing technology. CDOT is investing $20 million to combat congestion and improve safety through the use of intelligent mobility technology in the next year. As one of three consulting firms selected as advisers on the program, Atkins is serving as an extension of CDOT’s staff—helping to move projects from conception through procurement and construction—facilitating a reimagination of transportation infrastructure through intelligent mobility solutions. RoadX’s goals include: reducing the cost of transporting goods by 25%; turning a rural state highway into a zero death road; and reducing congestion and vehicle emissions on Colorado’s critical corridors. We’re using improved analytics, innovative strategies in autonomous/connected vehicles, and big data to exceed these goals—creating a safer more efficient future. Toward this same end, we’re currently administrating the RoadX: Bicycle & Pedestrian Challenge—soliciting innovative solutions to protect pedestrians and cyclists in Colorado. Prizes go to both the most creative ideas, and the most effective implementation strategies. Winners will be selected at the end of April. In launching the RoadX Program, CDOT made a commitment to the aggressive implementation of new transportation technology within the next ten years. Atkins’ partnership brings our considerable experience in intelligent mobility towards facilitating that commitment—making a big difference in the lives of Colorado commuters. For more information on CDOT’s RoadX, the Bicycle & Pedestrian Challenge, and the future of infrastructure see: https://www.codot.gov/programs/roadx http://www.imagineco.us/en/challenge/roadx-bicycle-pedestrian-challenge http://www.atkinsglobal.com/en-GB/group/sectors-and-services/services/intelligent-mobility


A major east-west transportation corridor that carries recreational, commercial and commuter traffic through the Rocky Mountains also creates a lot of headaches for those maneuvering through regular back-ups and gridlock.  When the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) expressed an interest in using intelligent transportation systems and innovative technologies to decrease gridlock, increase safety and reduce traffic time, we were brought on board to help drive the effort for the I-70 Mountain Express Lane (MEXL). CDOT’s overall vision for improving congestion with immediate, interim improvements led us to evaluate the effectiveness of a tolled peak hour shoulder lane between Empire Junction and Idaho Springs. We expanded existing models to assess traffic improvements, which indicated that travel times could be cut nearly in half in the project area. Taking an innovative approach to relieve congestion without overbuilding the mountain corridor, a 13-mile stretch of the existing eastbound shoulder was repurposed as a dynamically tolled express lane during peak travel periods. Today, it operates only on weekends and holidays and users pay between four and eight dollars, based on congestion levels (tolls can reach 30 dollars based on congestion levels). With added capacity, the corridor has seen consistent, faster speeds and reduced travel times for all lanes. In its first summer season, throughput increased by 14 percent, travel times in general purpose lanes improved by 38 percent, and the time involved in clearing back-ups substantially improved. Less gridlock. Less stress. Less time on the road means more time for the good stuff. There’s more to the story. CDOT received Gov.


During large storm events, the Las Vegas Wash channel overbanks would flood due to overflow of the main channel, requiring regular and costly debris cleanup and repair of the facility’s only access road. Despite it not being designed to do so, the access road served as a grade control structure to protect improvements made to the channel upstream. Aside from making the facility inaccessible, failure of the road would have jeopardized the structural stability of those improvements as well as threatened underground utilities. Failure of the access road would have also resulted in damages to the surrounding private and public properties and facilities. To remedy, channel improvements were designed to increase capacity and protect against any further damage. A secondary access road was constructed; 1,100 feet of various new utilities (20-inch water, twelve 6-inch power conduits, twelve 4-inch fiber-optic conduits, and four 12-inch sludge lines) crossing the wash were designed; and other increased security measures were put in place to secure the site. To reduce cost and expedite construction of a new 200-foot steel girder bridge over Las Vegas Wash, we worked with the construction contractor and CCWRD to recycle steel girders from a former bridge. We inspected the old bridge’s superstructure, investigated the life span of the steel, verified the geometry of the girders for compatibility of design, and modeled using MDX software. 1D and 2D (pre- and post-project) hydraulic models of the area were also developed and sediment transport analysis was performed to ensure that there are not adverse impacts to


With traffic through this freeway corridor expected to double in the next 20 years, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) prioritized investment in this critical section of infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing resident and tourist populations. Travelers make 25,000 lane changes per hour in this freeway corridor and as many as 1,400 crashes take place annually. To boost safety, mobility, and accessibility, roadway improvement plans include separation of freeway traffic from arterial traffic, reduced numbers of merging sections, and connection of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to create a continuous 22-mile stretch from US 95 through I-15. Considered the most important and ambitious project in NDOT’s history, it also accommodates regional economic redevelopment through improved access to downtown Las Vegas and the Resort Corridor. We serve as lead designer, for design builder, Kiewit Infrastructure West, managing all design and engineering services on this multiphased, multiyear project with responsibilities that include design services for roadway, drainage, bridges and structures, traffic control, signing, pavement marking, landscape, and ITS as well as providing quality control, utility coordination, public involvement, design surveying, and design support during construction.   Video courtesy of NDOT

USA , North America ,

HE partnered with their Netherlands equivalent, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), to help overcome their legacy system drawbacks. Both wished to develop a future operating model that delivered a modern and open technology platform and effective supply chain that would improve the resilience and efficiency of their road networks. Atkins were tasked with developing the security requirements for the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) operating model, and supporting its delivery through an open tender process to enable appropriate suppliers to provide the new solution. We worked in collaboration with HE and RWS, integrating our subject matter experts into the project team. This allowed us to agree a joint security approach which would took into account the different cultural, business, security and legislative concerns that the two partners faced. By working closely with all stakeholders, we determined the existing operational structures, business goals and service requirements. We reviewed UK and Dutch security standards and Governmental requirements and negotiated a joint approach to meet these. Finally, we developed a ‘to-be’ security operating model to meet business requirements for input into ‘Pre-qualification questionnaire’ (PQQ) and ‘Invitation to tender’ (ITT) contract phases and proposed and agreed approaches for the formal accreditation of ATMS. Our security-focused business systems analysis and requirements development led to a detailed set of building block deliverables at functional and technical levels. These included the specific application, infrastructure, hosting and platform components. The completion of this project provided HE and RWS with a pragmatic and realistic view of the threat environment for information assets with a

UK ,

Limehouse Viaduct is an early stock brick Grade II listed structure originally built to support the London to Blackwall Railway, serving the old docks of East London, and now carrying Docklands Light Railway system. The viaduct is punctuated by a number of flat metal deck spans which cross a network of public highways and watercourses. Due to the length of the viaduct structure and differing forms of construction, the project was divided into four packages. Package 1 was completed on time enabling the client to implement the tender process for the site works within the project time scales. Packages 2, 3 & 4 are due to commence following completion of the Package 1 site works.

UK ,

In 2009, the NJTA approved a massive widening program for a 50-mile section of the parkway to achieve a 50 percent increase in capacity. Atkins served as program manager for widening activities from interchange 48 to 63 (phase 2) and the structure and drainage improvement projects for future widening at interchanges 30 and 48 (phase 3). Over the course of the project, we coordinated the efforts of more than 1,000 professionals to successfully design nearly $200 million worth of improvements to the existing highway while maintaining traffic flow. The program’s scope included design and construction of a third lane to the northbound and southbound Parkway, widening of shoulders, mainline and local road bridge widening and replacement, existing drainage system replacement, and safety improvements such as roadway lighting, guide sign replacement, storm water management basins, and relocation of utilities. The historic tollway, originally constructed in the late 1950’s, helped usher in a new wave of economic and residential development along the Jersey shore. Through continued investment and improvements, it remains a vital link from the New York state line to the southern tip of New Jersey. The project was recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI) of New Jersey as 2015 Project of the Year and received the 2016 ACEC New Jersey’s Engineering Excellence Award.

USA , North America ,

The works were predominately undertaken to the bridge’s heavily eroded ornate masonry parapets in the interest of ensuring public safety. Due to the importance of the structure to the town both as an amenity and as part of its heritage, the bridge’s architectural features were also restored as part of the scheme. Staff from Atkins/Waterman, who were seconded into Warwickshire County Council’s Bridge Maintenance Team on the west midlands highways alliance professional services framework, recently completed the repair and restoration of the historic Grade II Listed Willes Road Bridge in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The three span masonry arch bridge provides one of only three routes over the River Leam, linking the south of the town to its centre and so is a vital and heavily trafficked piece of infrastructure. The structure’s parapets were found to be in a poor condition during a routine bridge inspection with unstable and heavily weathered masonry. Some of the 300mm thick masonry blocks in the parapet were found to have eroded away entirely and so provided little protection for errant vehicles. A scheme was devised and implemented to repair the masonry parapets to ensure the safety of road users passing over the bridge. Due to the structure’s importance in respect to the town’s heritage, it was decided to also restore its architectural features. Extensive research was undertaken to determine the original appearance of the bridge’s original architectural features which included working with the District Council’s Conservation Officers and a local historical society. The source of

UK ,




CIRRUSmaps™ is a flexible web mapping platform that can be integrated with highways asset management systems, enabling a map based view of information such as drainage, accidents, surface defects and signage. Optional route planning integration enables effective planning of highways maintenance.


Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.


In this section you can find thought leadership articles produced by Atkins for the roads sector.

Title Format Size
King of the road pdf 384KB
Traffic unjammed pdf 271KB
Roads into the wilderness pdf 172KB
The long and widening road pdf 208KB
Life span pdf 320KB


For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK & Europe

Philip Hoare
Managing director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1454 66 2566 

Middle East

Phil Malem
Managing director - Transportation & Infrastructure
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4405 9300

Asia Pacific

Samson Sin
Managing director
Tel: +852 2972 1200

North America

United States of America
Tel: +1 800 477 7275



View all