January 2020
June 2020
VGC contract value
£1.1 million
M25 ERA works

Our team is delivering additional emergency refuge areas (ERA) on the M25 between junctions 24 and 25 to increase safety.

The new refuge areas will give extra safe places for drivers to pull over in case of an emergency on the M25 smart motorway.


  • Carry out site clearance
  • Earthworks to build out an embankment to widen the carriageway for the emergency bays
  • Lay, level and compact sub-base
  • Level and prepare the formation
  • In situ concrete works including ballast foundations
  • Drainage: surface water, carrier, filter and slot drainage
  • Construct modular block retaining wall using ‘RediRock’ wall blocks
  • Trenching and ducting for emergency telephones and vehicle detection hardware. This indicates to the control centre if a vehicle stops in the area, so the emergency services can assist them if necessary.
  • Concrete and asphalt paving of the carriageway.

After paving, the final bright high-friction orange surface coating will be applied to help drivers reduce speed safely, and make the ERA easy for motorists to spot.

We will finish with white-lining, soft landscaping and fencing works. We will also install new information signs in the area to give drivers advice.


We have installed surface water drainage solutions to capture surface run-off. These are connected to the deep drainage. The deep drainage removes the water to areas where it is appropriately filtered to remove pollutants and ensure they do not enter the environment, before the outfall returns the water to nearby water courses.

The drainage connections required excavations up to 5.5m deep, for which we used large excavation supports. The excavated London clay was removed from site, with some clay being dried out in windrows for reuse as backfill.

Mihai Gligor
Key influencer Mihai Gligor carefully cleaning surfaces on the welfare unit


Works on site have continued throughout the coronavirus outbreak. A number of measures keep everyone safe. These include:

  • Reminder signs outside and inside the offices
  • Signage on toilets reminding one person at a time
  • Regular careful cleaning of all touch surfaces
  • Restrictions on the use of facilities by Highways England and Highways Agency traffic officers to reduce risks
  • People are carefully spaced in the offices to maintain adequate social distancing.

After a site inspection in early June 2020, Skanska’s operations director said:

The measures put in place by the teams for M25 COFA and renewals relating to the Covid risk are good. Quality of workmanship on site very good. A very interesting tour and good to see the team in good spirits. The continuation of the works throughout the restrictions has been managed very well by the teams, and the measures put in place seem to be well managed and sustainable.

Other compliments

Skanska’s works manager commended our teams:

Your site teams are producing an excellent job despite current conditions and restrictions. The sites were in excellent condition and all H&S measures were being employed. The gate operative was courteous and informative. I felt the team was creating a positive impression with the travelling public.

Skanska’s senior engineer emailed to say their health and safety adviser was

impressed with how the site is set up, measures in place, PPE compliance and generally how it presents itself.

The engineer asked us to relay these positive comments to the site team,

and thank them for the hard work in this very difficult time.

The works are part of an M25 call off framework agreement (COFA) with client Skanska for client Highways England. The contract is being managed by project manager Seb Borgers, supported by works manager Declan McComb and foreman Saulius Vaitkevicius, plus Ron Turnage and Eamon Gallagher.