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Delayed Hochtief road scheme to open in October

The Broughton Bypass, a £32m road scheme near Preston, is due to complete in October after months of delay.

Main contractor Hochtief is due to complete the works later this year, having first started on the 2 km bypass in January 2016.

Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership said the project would now open to vehicles on Thursday 5 October, although it added: ”Some work will still be needed following the official opening, including landscaping, but the road will be fully open for public use.”

The project was originally scheduled to complete in spring 2017.

Its completion date was initially pushed back to August 2017, before being delayed again to spring 2018 earlier this year.

The council and contractor had programmed in additional time in the construction schedule in case of unforeseen circumstances, but the client noted that  ”good progress” had been made on the project this summer “thanks to the number of construction staff on site and good weather.”

The project has also seen cost hikes after its initial value of £24m rose to £32m due to “unforseen cost increases and payments”.

The council said a number of factors had contributed to the delay and cost overrun, including:

  • A utility contractor being unable to carry out work on the site as planned;
  • The rebuilding of an embankment which collapsed due to extremely wet ground conditions;
  • The redesign of drainage to accommodate underground equipment;
  • More challenging ground conditions than expected

Hochtief project manager Matt Mosley said: “The Hochtief team has worked hard to complete this project at the earliest opportunity, given the unforeseen issues encountered on this build-only contract.

“The collaborative approach we’ve developed with Lancashire County Council’s project team from the outset has enabled issues to be resolved promptly to achieve an earlier completion date than expected.

“We thank the local community and road users for their patience while the bypass work has taken place.”

The Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Keith Iddon added: “It was important to us that we could get this road open. When I became the cabinet member a few months ago, I wanted to talk to our own highways team to see if we could speed things up at all.

“Thanks to their hard work together with Hochtief we’ve now been able to do this.”

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