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26Mar92 UK: EIGHT CONTRACTORS PREPARE BIDS FOR £22M ROYAL DEVON AND EXETER HOSPITAL REDEVELOPMENT CONTRACT.

By Brian Warner.Eight contenders are preparing bids for the £22 million Priority Two contract to redevelop the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, blighted by spalling concrete.The line-up is: Dudley Coles (part of the Hanson empire); Fairclough, Kyle Stewart, Laing, Alfred McAlpine, Taylor Woodrow, Wimpey and Norwest Holst.Priority Two is the second phase of rebuilding the hospital for the South Western Regional Health Authority.Tenders are due back on May 5, with work due to start in June or July, lasting three years.Priority Two will include operating theatres, X-ray, out-patients and radiotherapy departments.The hospital, at Wonford, has been plagued by problems since it was built in 1974.In the early 1980s concrete cancer, or alkali aggregate reaction was diagnosed and after a damning report from consultant engineer Mott Macdonald, the regional health authority and the Department of Health decided a new hospital must be built.In September 1988, Costain won a contract to replace the eight-storey tower block, which mainly houses the wards, with a two-storey building containing new wards and a new main entrance.The new two-storey hospital, which is being constructed alongside the condemned one, will be finished in July 1995 at a total cost of £70 million.The following year, tenders will be invited to demolish the old tower block and podium.Further construction work could result from the redevelopment of the West of England Eye Infirmary in the centre of Exeter.The infirmary, which will be incorporated into the new RD and E hospital, will be sold off in September.And two other contracts will come up for grabs, relating to the new RD and E hosptial.The regional health authority will soon invite bids for a sterilisation and disinfection unit to be constructed on the edge of the site. Work will begin in August.And in July 1993, work is due to start on a £6 million radiotherapy, outpatients and treatment centre. CONSTRUCTION NEWS