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24Feb94 UK: GERMANS FIGURE LARGE IN DEESIDE - LOCAL AUTHORITY ROAD SCHEMES.

By Brian Warner.German-owned contractors will have a strong presence on one of the largest local authority road schemes to emerge this year.Bilfinger and Berger and Hochtief will be among the five outfits invited to tender for Clwyd County Council's biggest-ever project - the £42 million Deeside road link river crossing at Connah's Quay.Bilfinger has teamed up with Birse, in which it has just under a 10 per cent stake.And Hochtief is in tandem for the first time with Nuttall - Hochtief is more often to be found in company with Kier or Christiani and Nielsen for joint venture bids.The clue for the German connection can be found in the centrepiece of the Deeside scheme - a 950 m long river bridge. This comprises a 200 m span asymetric cable-stayed bridge which the German firms have experience of.Industry sources say that Clwyd has restricted the bid list to five - tender lists of up to nine are not uncommon on council schemes - because pricing the scheme will be very complex and very expensive.One source claimed: 'If the list gets too long, you tend to get some bids which are not really worthy of serious consideration.'The Deeside list features one other joint venture - Kier and Norwest Holst.The list is completed by Balfour Beatty and Amec.So far Clwyd has only told the companies to expect tender documents - the documents themselves are not expected to be sent out until the end of this month at the earliest.The tender period has been set at three months, reflecting the complexity of the scheme - although there is only limited scope for alternative designs and all contractors will be expected to send in essentially conforming bids.Work is expected to get under way this August, lasting for around 30 months.The scheme also includes 3.7 km of dual carriageway, a grade separated junction and rail under bridge. CONSTRUCTION NEWS