Kier beats off five competitors to land £17m Kings Dyke, Whittlesey, improvement scheme

PUBLISHED: 15:51 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:51 23 September 2017

Kings Dyke crossing project approved

Kings Dyke crossing project approved

Archant

Construction giant Kier Group has beaten off five competitors to secure the £17 million contract to design and build the Kings Dyke improvement scheme at Whittlesey.

But the contract is in two stages and councillors have been told the go ahead to build will be “conditional on satisfactory performance and agreement of a construction target price based on the detailed design”.

The delayed new road and bridge over the Ely to Peterborough railway line crossing on the A605 as Kings Dyke can now move to the next stage.

A detailed six month design process will start and council officers will work closely with Kier and their designers Ramboll.

If costs stay on target work will begin but if post design the target price is “is significantly higher than the tender stage construction price” or exceeds the scheme budget, then additional funding will need council approval.

The scheme was agreed in March 2016 by the planning committee and includes closure of the current level crossing.

The new route to the south will include new roundabouts at Funtham’s Lane and the brickworks access road. At a public consultation this route had the support of the majority of respondents as well as a number of local businesses and Whittlesey Town Council.

Councillor Ian Bates, chairman of the economy and environment committee, said “We had an overwhelmingly positive response to our consultation.

“We know it’s something that residents are really desperate for and solves the congestion arising from the level crossing, which will grow as a result of increasing rail traffic.

“It will also reduce use of the nearest alternative route on minor roads which are frequently flooded. “

Whittlesey councillor David Connor said “Local people have been looking for a solution to the problems caused by the level crossing for a long time.

“It will be a huge benefit to the people of Fenland and further afield.”

One of the major hold-ups to the scheme – that was given the green light nearly five years ago- appears to have been sorted.

Councillors were told that significant work had been undertaken to secure the land and informal agreement has now been reached with all the land owners.

Legal conveyancing is ongoing but the cost of buying the land – because of the delays- had increased.

The council was told the cost has increased since “the owners have demonstrated greater value for potential development than land agents initially anticipated.

The land negotiations are still in the final stages of negotiation, therefore the cost is still confidential at this point”.

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