The new contractor for the much needed Whittlesey King's Dyke transport scheme can now be revealed.
Today (Thursday, 21 May), the County Council can reveal, Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK is the confirmed contractor to deliver the King's Dyke level crossing closure scheme.
Following a rigorous tender process, Jones Bros scored highest in both quality and price assessments.
The tender process started in September last year and was completed on 9 April. The County Council's Economy and Environment Committee and General Purposes Committee subsequently approved the award of the contract to Jones Brothers and the additional funding required on 23 April.
As a result of this process the total required budget for the project has now reduced from £41.6 million to £32 million.
Cambridgeshire County Council leader Cllr Steve Count said: "I am delighted to welcome Jones Bros to this vitally important project for the area.
"I'm pleased the bold 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.
"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're thrilled to have been appointed to deliver this scheme.
"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."
Clearly, in this challenging situation the country is facing with the coronavirus outbreak, the County Council and Jones Bros will need to quickly understand the impact the pandemic will have on the project.
A specific COVID-19 project contingency budget of £1.5 million was agreed at the General Purposes Committee to fund any additional costs directly associated with the project caused by the impact of coronavirus. This will be closely managed and only used if necessary.
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.
Local residents and businesses will be kept informed throughout the duration of the project through our website, social media, letters, a newsletter and the scheme board which is on site.
Please contact Cambridgeshire County Council communications team on: 01223 699281 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.