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Jackson set to work on troubled busway

Cambridgeshire County Council is briefing contractor Jackson Civil Engineering to correct what is describes as six “defects” it says Bam Nuttall has failed to rectify on its guided busway project.

The council said it did not expect Bam Nuttall to fix the defects, and has put into place plans to contract Jackson to do the work. The council intends to charge the cost of Jackson’s work to Bam Nuttall.

Councillors met this week to plan the remedial work, and have now agreed on the work required.

One major issue is in the guideway beams, which the council said Bam Nuttall has laid with gaps narrower than were specified in the design.

Bam Nuttall said the narrow gaps were not a problem, but the council said the beams could be damaged when the concrete expands in hot weather. The council said the gaps will be widened by “grind[ing] fractions from the ends of the beams where necessary”. Other issues include a flooded cycleway, an exposed expansion joint on a viaduct and a car park with standing water (NCE 11 March 2010).

Council cabinet member for growth, infrastructure and strategic planning Roy Pegram said the council was “angry” with Bam Nuttall for reneging what it says were promises made last spring to correct the defects (NCE 28 April 2010). It could take a number of weeks for Jackson to rectify the problems, Pegram said.

Bam Nuttall said it could not comment until the project was complete. The contractor’s latest forecast shows construction will finish this month.

The contract can then be certified as complete and Bam Nuttall will then have 28 days to fix all notified defects before Jackson is brought in.

The firm was due to complete the project by February 2009. Since then the council has deducted almost £14,000 a day from Bam Nuttall for late delivery, totalling more than £9M so far.

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