Contractor withdraws tender for replacement Clydesdale road bridge
South Lanarkshire Council has been forced to find a new way to deliver a key replacement road bridge in Clydesdale after the company that had the winning bid in the procurement process withdrew its tender.
Clyde Bridge, which is on Pettinain Road, south of Carstairs Junction, had to be closed in late 2018 after significant defects were picked up during a routine inspection.
Despite unavoidable delays and increasing costs, the council repeatedly committed to completing the work - most recently this month, when council leader John Ross confirmed it had secured additional funding to enable the project to begin this Spring.
The delays included lengthy negotiations to purchase the land necessary for the project, while a range of additional costs pushed up the budget, notably the global increase in the price of construction materials.
One of the ways the council was able to bridge the gap in funding was by reallocating £1.6m that had been previously identified to replace Ponfeigh Bridge, due to other funding being secured for that project.
With increased funding in place, the council turned its attention to the next stage of the tender award process, but at that point the company that had prepared the winning bid indicated it was unable to deliver the project within the tender price.
Following legal advice on how to proceed, the second ranked contractor was then approached to see if they would maintain their tender bid, but that company confirmed it also was unable to maintain its tender price.
This meant the council has been unable to award the contract under the existing tender process, with alternative ways to deliver the new bridge now actively being sought.
Colin Park, head of toads and transportation, moved to reassure local communities that alternative options are being sought as a priority.
Mr Park said: “I understand that this will be deeply disappointing news to local people. We share that disappointment as we had thought we were on the brink of proceeding with this much-needed project.
“However, we remain committed to replacing Clyde Bridge as soon as possible. The council is urgently considering the options for an alternative procurement route to deliver the bridge at the earliest opportunity.”