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Ex-Kier job put out to tender by council

Cambridgeshire County Council has relaunched procurement for the design and construction of the King’s Dyke bypass, which had been won by Kier in 2017.

The firm was originally appointed for a design contract on the Cambridgeshire road, with the option to be awarded the construction job. But following a trebling of costs, the council announced in July that it would be looking to re-procure.

The contractor’s final estimate for construction costs was £26.2m, up from £15.8m in October 2018.

According to an expression of interest notice, the contractor can use Kier’s design for the works but has recommended the use of value-engineering exercises to highlight to the council where the design could be “improved”.

Works are set to include 1 km of new road on structural embankments and a new bridge over a railway line.

Papers released by the council in August said Kier had not completed 90 per cent of the bypass design by October 2018 when it submitted its first revised costing of £15.8m, which was a doubling of its initial, unstated, figure.

Cambridgeshire council leader Steve Count said: “I’m delighted to see that we’re moving forward – we’ve made our commitment to this scheme clear and this is a key date in our new programme that aims to get this scheme delivered as soon as possible.”

Mr Count added that a shortlist of contractors to score the highest in an initial quality assessment will be invited to tender at the end of November and will have four months to submit bids.

The council hopes to appoint a contractor to start construction by December 2020, with the contract expected to last for two years, he said.

The expression of interest window runs until midday on 4 November, interest can be registered here.

Kier has been approached for comment.

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