Glasgow quay improvement works abandoned due to high costs

Glasgow quay improvement works abandoned due to high costs

A project to install a new quay wall and restore a public riverfront path along Glasgow’s riverside has been abandoned due to “excessively high” costs.

The proposal involved Windmillcroft Quay, a 300-metre stretch of the Clyde riverbank between Tradeston and Springfield Quay. It was to be part-funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal, as part of the £50 million allocated through the Deal to secure the integrity of the Clyde waterfront, consolidate the quay walls there, and activate the area.

The co-owners of the homes at Windmillcroft Quay made a financial contribution of £1.39m (£5,000 for each of the 278 properties), with a further £750,000 from a third-party contributor.

The design included a 12-metre build-out of public realm into the river corridor to provide a promenade, constructed above a new quay wall. It would have had a walkway and a cycle route. The current wall fell into disrepair and the public walkway was closed in 2014.

Launching the procurement process early last year, Glasgow City Council stated its intention to award the contract towards the end of 2023, with works expected to begin on site in 2024.

However, the local authority has revealed that the difference in its budget for the project and the prices included in bids submitted from contractors “would have been in the region of £25m”.

A report updating councillors states: “The Windmillcroft Quay project sought to address the structural integrity of a third-party quay wall, and reintroduce public access (involving a core path) at the riverside.

“The proposed scheme required the introduction of a new structural system adjacent to, and through, existing historic quay wall infrastructure and land, which is in private ownership.

“The new quay wall would have been aligned parallel to the existing wall, with an approximate 12-metre linear offset into the River Clyde and would have created new public land and active travel infrastructure. The 12-metre offset was the minimum build out possible, to safely position the new foundations clear of the existing quay wall structure.”

The report added: “Whilst specific commercial details of the construction procurement exercise are commercially sensitive and therefore cannot be disclosed, it is advised that the estimated shortfall between the in-principle funding commitment (comprising City Deal funding and contributions from co-owners of the Waterfront development) and the required project budget would have been in the region of £25m.

“Council officers met with contractors who submitted tenders for the Windmillcroft Quay works to receive feedback on the procurement exercise. The collective view from these meetings is that there are no suitably substantial value engineering options available to reduce costs.

“The council therefore had no option but to abandon both the procurement exercise and any further design development activity for this project, under the City Deal programme.

“Whilst the quay wall and adjacent land are in private ownership, the council is open to working with relevant parties, to consider what alternative options and solutions might be able to be progressed, outwith City Deal, to address the underlying issues.”

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