Contractor wins highways contract in California and rail electrification project in China.

Balfour Beatty has been awarded contracts worth almost £160m to develop projects in the USA and China.

Balfour Beatty Construction, the group's civil engineering subsidiary, has been given a $193m (£104.6m) contract by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to upgrade California's Interstate Highway I-5.

The project, which will be carried out in a joint venture, will see two miles of highway and six bridges in the Buena Park area of Orange County improved.

In China, Balfour Beatty Rail Power Systems, the Munich-based rail electrification and power supply business, has been awarded a €78 (£53.5m) project to electrify 619 km of double track of double track railway in the Liaoning Province.

The project, between the cities of Tianjin and Shenyang, will also involve the installation of 11 traction substations and other signal equipment.

Balfour Beatty Rail Power Systems has a track record of railway projects in China. The company was responsible for the €100m (£68.4m) electrification of a 950 km double-track line between Harbin and Dalian, the largest rail electrification project in the country.

Work on the projects in California and the Laioning Province will start immediately.