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24Feb94 UK: BB 'LOW' BID IS STILL TO HIGH FOR FIFE - BALFOUR BEATTY ROAD/BRIDGE BID.

Balfour Beatty has sent in the lowest bid for phase two of the Western Distributor road project in Fife, Scotland, which carries an official £7.1 million price tag.But Balfour's price is still at least £1.2 million above that figure which was set by the client, the Glenrothes Development Corporation, and based on Scottish Office allocations.It is understood the corporation will enter negotiations with Balfour in an effort to get the contractor to review its price before the contract can be officially awarded. The Scottish Office is expected to stump up extra cash to make up any difference.The development corporation itself will cease to exist by the end of next year when it will be would up by the Scottish Office.It will still be operating in September 1995, when the scheme is due for completion, but any subsequent claims will be handled by Fife Regional Council - a proviso which, it is understood, is written into the contract.The corporation invited only four firms to tender.It is understood that 28 firms applied for the project, which includes a 240m single-span cable-stayed bridge. However, a combination of not wanting to involve too many companies in the costly business of tendering and some of the applicants' lack of suitable bridge work experience kept the list down.Other contenders were Trafalgar House, Kier and Nuttall.Work is expected to start on the distributor road next month.The project also includes 2.75m of single carriageway and three roundabouts.Consulting engineer is Babtie Shaw and Morton. CONSTRUCTION NEWS