Another major contract award for Forth Replacement Crossing scheme

10 June 2011
Winning bid to deliver traffic flow system under budget

Winning bid to deliver traffic flow system under budget 

The multi-million pound contract for the Forth Replacement Crossing’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in Fife was awarded by Transport and Housing Minister Keith Brown today.

The contract to deliver the traffic flow management system along the M90 in Fife was secured by John Graham (Dromore) Ltd, at a cost of  £12.9m – over  £2m below the original estimated cost range.

The contract will deliver the Fife element of a 14 mile (22km) ITS corridor, extending from the M9 Junction 1 at Newbridge, to the M90 Junction 3 at Halbeath. The system will aim to regulate traffic flow through use of overhead signal gantries and provide motorists with up to the minute information through variable message signs.

Mr Brown said

“ITS is an integral part of the Forth Replacement Crossing scheme and I am pleased to announce this £12.9m contract award to John Graham.

“This important traffic management system will assist with traffic congestion, providing road users with traffic, lane and mandatory speed control information, improving road safety and helping improve Journey Time reliability across the Forth.

“It is also gratifying to note that the successful tender competition has resulted in a substantial saving on the anticipated cost of £15-£22m and provides excellent value for money for the public purse.

“This is the second of three major contracts to be awarded for the Forth Replacement Crossing scheme, which will not only safeguard our vital infrastructure link but is also essential for Scotland’s continued sustainable economic growth.”

The contract, which will comprise the provision and installation of seventeen gantries, including foundations and associated maintenance lay-bys as well as associated hard and soft landscaping, ducting, cabling and carriageway traffic detectors, will deliver significant benefits for cross-Forth travel by improving safety, journey time reliability and incident management. Using this technology also eliminates the need for further expensive widening of existing roads, thus ensuring best value for the public purse.

The ITS system will also support the operation of a Public Transport Bus link between Ferry Toll and Queensferry, reconfiguring the M90 southbound hard shoulder as an integrated bus lane.

The award of the Fife ITS contract follows the award of the Principal Contract to build the new bridge and connecting roads to the FCBC Consortium in April.  The final major contract for the scheme, the upgrade of M9 Junction 1a, is on schedule to be awarded in July. 

In addition the contract to provide plant material, including trees and vegetation, across the project was awarded recently to Johnsons of Whixley Limited with a bid of £230,000.  The FRC project will see the planting over 375,000 new trees, replacing more than double the area of woodland that will be cleared for construction of the scheme, as well as providing nearly 7 km of new or replacement hedgerows.

There has also been substantial interest from the construction industry in the contract, estimated to be worth around £4 million, to build a new FRC Contact and Education Centre. 

This new building, to be located adjacent to the Forth Road Bridge’s offices in South Queensferry, will act as a consultation, information and exhibition venue during the construction of the scheme, as well as housing a new, dedicated National Traffic Control Centre for Traffic Scotland. 

A total 58 notes of interest were received and, following the assessment of 16 prequalification submissions, 5 companies have been formally invited to bid for the work, with tenders due to be returned by the end of  July.

The total estimated cost of the FRC scheme is currently £1.47 - £1.62 billion and it remains on schedule to be completed in 2016.

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