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Pigeon poo doubles cost of Welsh bridge refurbishment

Conwy road bridge 3to2 by nilfanion wikimedia uk

Bird excrement has been blamed for cost overruns on a road bridge refurbishment in Wales. 

Costs on the Conwy road bridge have more than doubled to £1.53M after bird droppings were discovered to have covered heavily corroded steel beams which need replacing.

The huge increase has come to light after an audit committee questioned Conwy Council about the overspend.

Funding of £687,000 for the bridge refurbishment had been approved in December 2015 and a contractor was appointed in January 2016.

But the council said that once scaffolding had been erected on the eastern and western sides of the bridge “it became apparent there was additional unforeseen steelwork that required refurbishment”.

The council added that the extra works had not been identified within the specialist inspection consultant’s report which it had commissioned to identify the extent of works required.

The council responded saying: “Once the refurbishment contractor was on site and the scaffolding was erected across the structure in June 2016, it became apparent that both the extent of the corrosion and the steelwork which required refurbishment was significantly greater than had been tendered.

“The matter was reported to cabinet on 13 September 2016 and it was decided to increase the scope of the work whilst the contractor was on site.

“Therefore, it was not an overspend – it was an extension of the contract based on an increased scope of works.”

But Gele county councillor Andrew Wood told the Daily Post: “I can’t believe we’ve not made more of an issue about this Conwy Bridge refurbishment - it’s plus £844,000.

“If you [the council] tendered with all that information in the first place then you could have had a cheaper tender.

“But we’re in a situation now where we have to carry on, so I’m disappointed.”

The bridge repairs were completed in March 2017.

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