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Welsh road bridge costs more than tripled, says auditor

The cost of constructing the Maesdu road bridge in Llandudno, North Wales more than tripled from its original estimate of £1.1M in 2008/09 to £3.9M today, an independent report revealed yesterday.

Auditor KPMG investigated the project costs for client Conwy County Borough Council and found that the original £1.1M cost estimate of the bridge rose to £2.6M during the detailed design stage. Current estimates put the cost of the bridge at between £3.7M and £4.2M, pending the outcome of negotiations and arbitration with consultant Atkins and contractor Dawnus Construction, according to the report.

“The final cost figure remains provisional with ongoing negotiations and arbitration with both contractor and consultant in an attempt to reduce the council’s final liability,” it says.

KPMG said that this second increase was due to overspend at the construction stage, which began in October 2009. This included “costs associated with utility diversion, provision of a shuttle bus, fees and costs to Network Rail”, according to the report.

The bridge opened in July 2010.

Readers' comments (1)

  • It is about time that some serious investigation was carried out into why UK projects seem greatly to escalate from original estimate to final cost and, in addition , why UK projects always are more expensive in terms of £/metre spanned or £/square metre when compared with costs elswhere. Either the original estimate is prepared by incompetent engineers, which I do not believe, or the final cost contains elements not included in the original estimate.
    The newspaper headlines "X PROJECT COSTS SOAR" do not show the profession in a good light.

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