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Two consortiums invited to bid for Forth Crossing contract

Forthspan and Forth Crossing Constructors Group have been short listed for the contract to build the Forth Replacement Crossing.

Forthspan is a consortium comprising Vinci, Balfour Beatty, Bam Nuttall and Morgan. Forth Crossing Constructors comprises Dragados, Hochtief, American Bridge International and Morrison. A total of 39 companies expressed an interest in becoming involved following publication of the contract notice in June this year.This was reduced to eight companies which then submitted pre-qualification questionnaires indicating their financial and technical capabilities. These eight consolidated into the two consortiums which have been formally invited to bid for the work.

“The Forth Crossing Bill has just been introduced to Parliament and the issuing of the formal invitation to tender demonstrates that delivery of the Forth Replacement Crossing remains on schedule,” said Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson.

“The long-term future for the existing Forth Road Bridge remains uncertain and it is vital we act now to preserve cross-Forth travel and ensure sustainable economic growth for communities across Scotland continues in the future.

“The construction industry has already signalled its enthusiasm for this project and we look forward to receiving high quality bids from some of the biggest and most experienced construction companies in the world.

It is anticipated the award of the Forth Replacement Crossing contract will be made in spring 2011 and construction is expected to begin later that year. The contract, which is anticipated to be priced between £900m and £1.2bn in today’s prices, includes detailed design, construction of the main crossing and approaching roads.

This will include:

  • a motorway standard two lane carriageway with hard shoulders, spanning approximately 2.7km in length, comprising a cable-stayed bridge with three mono-towers, two central spans of approximately 650 metres each and approach viaducts;
  • trunk road connections north and south of the bridge, including approximately 5.5km of new or improved two or three-lane motorway standard carriageways with hard shoulders and two flyover junctions;
  • an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) including gantry displays to inform drivers of new variable speed limits.

A separate procurement exercise will be undertaken later for two separate, smaller contracts associated with the scheme but which will be delivered early in the project programme - an upgrade to junction 1A on the M9 and ITS provided on the M9 Spur south to Newbridge and in Fife from Admiralty Junction to Halbeath.

“We are not surprised that companies have joined together because of the risk of bidding for a fixed priced contract of this magnitude and complexity,” said CECA (Scotland) Chief Executive Alan Watt.

“CECA (Scotland) has consistently expressed its concern about the impact this single capital project might have on the rest of Scotland’s infrastructure investment as evidenced in the recent cancellation of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link (GARL) but has taken some reassurance from the Scottish Government’s firm commitment to the remainder of its substantial transport programme in last month’s Draft Budget.  CECA also welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s decision to include provision for compensation to the bidders should the project be cancelled.

“Whichever consortium wins the contract, CECA is keen to see it engage with the local supply chain and the local community to ensure the bridge becomes a flagship project for Scotland in terms of supporting Scottish businesses, skills and jobs.”


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