Council council looks to Mayor Palmer for support after King’s Dyke crossing replacement balloons 120 per cent to £30m
PUBLISHED: 16:13 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:13 01 October 2018
Mayor James Palmer is to be asked to bail out Cambridgeshire County Council – to the tune of millions of pounds – following today’s disclosure that the cost of King’s Dyke crossing replacement has ballooned to £30 million.
That’s a whopping but not unexpected 120 per cent increase from the original expected cost of £13.6 million.
The figures have been worked upon for some months as Kier Construction – awarded the contract in two stages, design and build – wait to see if the building work can begin
A council spokesman said detailed design work for the level crossing replacement scheme at Kings Dyke on the A605 between Whittlesey and Peterborough is nearing completion, and the project is now in a position to progress to the next stage.
Councillor Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s chairman of the economy and environment committee, said: “We will be looking to the combined authority for its support as the transport authority.”
He said: “This is a much bigger venture than first imagined. Having learnt from previous projects, we’ve followed a robust process by undertaking detailed design before awarding the construction contract, to minimise the risk of cost increases during construction.
“This first phase has now been completed and verified, resulting in a number of significant changes to the initial design that has become necessary as more information from investigative groundwork and traffic surveys was gathered.
“We’ve worked with an external consultant to review the information and wholeheartedly believe that this project is of incredible value to the residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, as the scheme will support plans for transport improvements and economic growth in both areas.”
Cllr Bates said the benefits of the scheme remain high so if the decision is approved at committee to progress to the next stage they will look to Mayor Palmer for help.
His committee will be asked to approve the award of the stage two construction contract to Kier, along with completion of land purchases, subject to the approval of the additional funding required by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority at its executive board on 31 October 31.
The scheme, to build a new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line, will be discussed by the economy and environment committee on October 11 to consider the contract award for stage two and approval to finalise land purchases - subject to securing the necessary increase in funding.
Cllr Bates said: “Whilst the overall budget required has increased from earlier estimates to just under £30 million, an independent review of the project and construction costs reveal that the benefit of continuing with the scheme remains extremely high.”