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Road Projects

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (180)

Réada Cronin


180. Deputy Réada Cronin asked the Minister for Transport the details of and reasons for the major overrun of costs in the M7 widening, Sallins bypass, Osberstown interchange to date (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [61200/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The main design and construction elements of the Naas Bypass widening Scheme, the Osberstown Interchange and the Sallins Bypass were implemented under one construction contract with three funding authorities involved - TII, the Department and Kildare County Council.

Kildare County Council, as the contracting authority, had overall responsibility for the implementation of the scheme and engagement with the contractor on the delivery of the various elements of the scheme.

The €85.5 million figure (excluding VAT) relates to a final account settlement recommended by the Standing Conciliator appointed under the terms of the construction contract after a lengthy conciliation process. The reasons this settlement exceeds the original construction contract price include the fact that the Public Works contract makes provision for compensation events and for additional works to be instructed. There were several instructions issued over the course of the works. Additionally, upgrading the existing M7 carriageway to 3 lanes during live traffic required significant traffic management and the project experienced multiple delays due to this challenge. Also, the Osberstown interchange and Sallins Bypass sections of the project involved the construction of a new interchange over live motorway traffic which created additional complexities. There were also accommodation works involving multiple stakeholders and alteration works by Statutory Undertakers and adapting to their required timelines caused unforeseen delays.

A number of disputes arose between the Council and the main contractor and while some disputes were resolved by means of the Contract Disputes Management Procedures, a significant number were referred to conciliation. Following an extensive process the Conciliator recommended a final account settlement agreement which was accepted by both parties to the Contract.