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Guildford Borough Council : Ash Road Bridge Project To Go Out To Tender

Guildford Borough Council : Ash Road Bridge Project To Go Out To Tender

Our Executive will put the construction of the Ash Road Bridge out to tender as a design and build contract. They are doing this to test the appetite for this complex project. Corporate Procurement Board approved this decision.

Construction materials and labour costs have increased. This is due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the Ukraine war. Inflation and rising energy prices mean the forecast construction budget has risen. We have taken the decision to test the market to ensure that we get the best value for the road bridge.

The previous total budget for the road bridge was £33.77 million. Councillors approved this on 13 April 2021. After the competitive tender process councillors will discuss any budget and funding increases. They will then need to approve this.

Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Cllr John Rigg, said:

“We have to make sure that we’re getting the best possible value for money for our residents. This important project comes at a very difficult time for the construction industry. It is a significant investment. We have secured valuable funding from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. We also have contributions from developers. Price rises and uncertainties mean that we must check we get best value.

“This process is likely to cause a delay. We remain committed to delivering this important piece of infrastructure for the borough. We are also continuing work to secure the approvals needed to build the road bridge. Our aim is to start on site in 2023 and complete the construction of the road bridge by Summer 2024.

“We’ve made good progress on the project in recent months. The detailed design is nearing completion after further survey work. The key infrastructure legal agreements are being negotiated. We work with Surrey County Council and Network Rail. We rely on both key parties to help to deliver this project.

“The road bridge and planned footbridge will benefit the area. This will support the arrival of new housing. The plan is also to make the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians and less congested for drivers. It will also improve air quality. The crossing barrier is currently down for up to 25 minutes every hour . We expect this will increase in line with anticipated increases in train services. This has a huge impact on local residents. Cars often queue for long periods with engines running. This is alongside pedestrian walkways used by children walking to school.

“We will keep residents informed as the proposals and project progress.”