Contractor Balfour Beatty has won six US civil engineering contracts worth about £268m

These will boost the order book of Balfour Beatty Construction, the group’s US civil engineering subsidiary, to more than £700m and will enable Balfour Beatty to raise its profile in the expanding US transport industry.

Chief executive Mike Welton said that the contracts came at a good time, “as federal and state expenditure on improving the US transport increases”.

The biggest of the six projects is a £63m scheme to widen a five-mile stretch of Route 405 in Culver City, Los Angeles, on behalf of Caltrans, the Californian department of transportation. The project, due to be completed in 37 months, involves widening 26 bridges and placing more than 70,000 m3 of retaining wall and concrete pavement.

In a second scheme for Caltrans Balfour Beatty has won two contracts worth £84m to widen eight miles of Route 15 between Escondido and Rancho Bernardo in San Diego. These are also expected to be completed in 37 months.

In Washington state the company has won a £47m contract to refurbish and extend Seattle bus terminal for the transport authority.

Balfour Beatty will also carry out a £47m upgrade of a main road in Collin County, Texas. The project, due for completion in January 2008, will include bridge demolition and construction, storm sewer installation and retaining walls.

Finally, the Maryland department of transportation on the east coast has appointed Balfour Beatty to carry out a £27m safety and congestion relief programme. It includes the construction of 1.24 miles of railway, and four bridges to help eliminate traffic jams caused by frequent rail crossings.

Balfour Beatty has been in the US market since the early 1990s. It accounts for about 15% of the firm’s total business.

About 75% of the business is in the UK with the other 10% across the rest of the world.