New contractor for King’s Dyke level crossing is named

Kings Dyke contract awarded: The route bypasses the existing road and is reached through roundabouts

Kings Dyke contract awarded: The route bypasses the existing road and is reached through roundabouts at both ends of the road. At the highest point the bridge would be 9.2m above the ground (the height of the traffic would be up to an additional 2.5 metres above bridge railings). - Credit: Archant

The new contractor for the “vitally-important” Whittlesey King’s Dyke transport scheme has been named, with the council’s choice “reducing the total required budget for the project from £41.6 million to £32 million”.

Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, who “scored highest in quality and price assessments,” will deliver the level crossing closure scheme, say Cambridgeshire County Council can reveal,

The tender process started in September last year and was completed on April 9. The county council’s economy and environment committee and general purposes committee approved the award of the contract to Jones Brothers and the additional funding required on April 23.

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Cllr Steve Count said: “I’m pleased the decision to re-tender the design and build contract was taken and it has clearly paid off.

“Almost £10 million has been saved, compared to if we had awarded the previous contract in August last year.

“Obviously, we will now need to work with Jones Brothers and consider the impact COVID-19 might have on the situation but we are still aiming to start on site by the end of the year, as promised.”

Cllr David Connor, local member for Whittlesey South, said: “As the local members, myself and Cllr Chris Boden along with former councillors Ralph Butcher and Martin Curtis and Whittlesey Town Council, we have all been campaigning for this scheme for more than 20 years. I’m so pleased we now have a contractor and funding in place and preparation work can start.

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“I’d like to thank the officers at the county council for their hard work in delivering this tender process that has delivered substantial savings to the people of Cambridgeshire and I cannot wait for this much needed project to start delivering the benefits it will bring.”

Jones Bros contracts director Geraint Thomas said: ““We are aware how important this is to the area and we are looking forward to starting work on site in due course.

“As with all Jones Bros projects, we will be aiming to boost the local economy during construction, with opportunities for local suppliers as well as recruitment of apprentices and experienced operators.”

A specific COVID-19 project contingency budget of £1.5 million was also agreed at the council’s general purposes committee to fund any additional costs directly associated with the project caused by the impact of coronavirus. The council say “this will be closely managed and only used if necessary”.

A council spokesman added: “The next steps will now be to finalise the design and make preparations to commence construction later in the year.

“The site will be fenced off and confined from public interaction and all activity will comply with the government’s COVID-19 restrictions and national construction site operating procedures.

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