Work by Costain to complete a dual carriageway between the Midlands and south Wales will be further delayed and run over budget, it has been revealed.
Welsh transport minister Ken States has admitted that there have been “difficulties experienced on site” where Costain had been widening a road in south Wales between Gilwern and Brynmawr, which has led to delays and cost increases.
The project, originally earmakered to cost £220M will now run more than £100M over budget. It will also miss its Decmber 2019 opening date, with no revised date set. Skates said that the scheme would be open at some point in 2020.
A cost increase of £50M was announced in 2017, with Skates revealing a further increase of £54.9M this week.
Construction work on the project began in early 2015 and is already more than three quarters complete.
Skates said: “While the vast majority of the scheme will be completed by December 2019, completion of the full scheme will now extend into 2020. The project has also experienced further cost increases and is now projected to be some £54.9M over the revised budget.
“Costain has highlighted that the primary reason for this is due to a complex construction solution required to address the geological feature that they have discovered in one particular location along the scheme.”
He added: “The solution required will impact on the construction costs and programme.”
The project’s commercial position is already subject to an audit investigation which the Wales Audit Office [WAO] began carrying out in June 2018.
Speaking of the audit, Skates said: “Welsh government officials, Costain and our Employer’s Agent have provided the WAO with a comprehensive package of information to enable them to understand the project position.”
An interim report from the WAO, which would set out findings from the work it has undertaken, is expected in the coming weeks.
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