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Transport Scotland insists Forth Replacement Crossing remains on track

Transport Scotland said this week that it remained confident of delivering the Forth Replacement Crossing after announcing contracts for associated junction improvements.

Transport Scotland confirmed to the NCE this week that it has published a Prior Information Notice for works to Junction 1A of the M9 intended to inform suppliers about the contract. It is hoped the move will boost tenders.

The contract award process is set to start on 4 June for an estimated cost of between £46M and £65M which is anticipated to drawn from public funds.

The design and build contract involves upgrading the junction to provide west facing connections between the M9 and M9 spur, improvements to the existing east facing slip roads and widening of the existing M9 road between junction 1A and the River Almond.

The upgrade will require a new bridge over the M9, and the widening the existing bridges at Overton Road and B9080 underbridge.

Intelligent Transport Systems will be installed between junction 2 and 1 on the M9 and along the length of the M9 spur.

The works are due to begin in July and be completed by December 2013.

Transport Scotland confirmed it was “committed to delivering the new Forth bridge, on time and within budget from existing Scottish Government resources.”

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association gave a guarded welcome to the news. It is concerned that the project is going to swallow all available funds.

It’s the monster in the Scottish budget

Alan Watt, CECA

“Our concern is the FRC is funded from capital projects which will have a significant impact of investment in other transport projects in Scotland. It’s the monster in the Scottish budget,” CECA Scotland chief executive Alan Watt told NCE last September.

The Scottish Government is determined to use direct funding because it does support conventional public finance initiative (PFI) or public private partnership models.

The Glasgow Airport Rail Link was cancelled last year to relieve pressure on the Scottish Government’s capital projects budget.

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