City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Final Bids In to Build New Forth Crossing

By Editor - Posted on 30 January 2011

Forth Road Bridge Replacement Crossing

The two consortia bidding to build a new bridge across the Forth have submitted their final proposals to Transport Scotland for consideration before the contract is awarded in April.

Forthspan and Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC), representing eight of the world’s most experienced bridge-building and civil engineering firms, are competing for the Forth Replacement Crossing project’s Principal Contract to build the new bridge and connecting roads.

The submission of the final tenders for the contract, expected to cost between £0.9 billion and £1.2 billion, follows a year-long competitive dialogue process between the two consortia and Transport Scotland.

Following parliamentary approval and Royal Assent for the FRC, the submission of the final tenders marks the last significant milestone before the Principal Contract is awarded and work begins on the biggest Scottish infrastructure project for a generation. Construction on the project is expected to start soon after the contract is awarded.

“Both consortia bidding for this contract are led by world class bridge building and civil engineering firms with strong records of successfully delivering similar projects throughout the world," said Transport Minister Keith Brown.

“I look forward to the announcement of the contract award soon with the start of construction on this absolutely essential project following thereafter. The FRC is a major part of this government’s programme of investment in Scotland’s economy and it will safeguard a vital link in the country’s transport infrastructure, protect thousands of jobs and secure over a billion pounds in economic revenue.

“Transport Scotland has taken this scheme from its initial announcement in 2007 through planning, design development, parliamentary approval and procurement in under four years.

“The project remains on target to be completed, within budget, in 2016 and Transport Scotland will continue to lead on delivering this programme in partnership with the successful contractors.”

Business opportunities during crossing’s construction

The additional economic benefit of the FRC project has been estimated by the British Chambers of Commerce to be worth around £6 billion to Scotland’s economy and last week local businesses in the Lothians and Fife had the chance to hear about how they could take advantage of potential opportunities during its construction.

Over 150 representatives from local businesses, ranging from engineering firms to bed and breakfast owners, attended a briefing event in  North Queensferry  on Friday 28 January organised by Transport Scotland in partnership with Public Contracts Scotland.

Its aim was to ensure local businesses had up to date information on the project and how to ensure they stayed in touch with potential sub-contract opportunities once the main contractors are appointed to deliver the FRC project.

Offering further advice and guidance on business development were representatives from City of Edinburgh and Fife Councils; Business Gateway Lothian and Fife Teams; Fife and West Lothian Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.

David Climie, FRC Project Director said: “The sheer scale of the FRC project and the level of investment in this area during its construction period will no doubt bring significant opportunities for local business to benefit once the main contracts are awarded.

“This was a hugely successful event that brought the public sector together with businesses and industry groups to ensure they had the right information to plan effectively and take advantage of these opportunities.”

Speaking on behalf of Public Contracts Scotland, Gary Robinson from The Scottish Government’s  Procurement Directorate said:

“We are very pleased to have hosted this event in partnership with Transport Scotland and that so many local businesses attended and took part. We look forward to working closely with Transport Scotland and the appointed consortia on this iconic project that is so vital to Scotland’s transport infrastructure.

“Businesses who don’t want to miss out on contract opportunities that may become available should register on the PCS website at Registration is free, only takes a few minutes and will ensure registered businesses are alerted to any relevant contracts."

Sustainability and environmental award from industry

Completing a highly successful week for the project, the FRC has also received a major industry award for the sustainability and environmental quality of its proposed work.

The Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme (CEEQUAL) gave the FRC an ‘excellent’ rating for its Interim Assessment with a score of 92.7%.

CEEQUAL is the assessment and awards scheme for improving sustainability in civil engineering and public realm projects and demonstrating the commitment of the civil engineering industry to environmental quality and social performance.

The Scheme rigorously assesses performance across 12 areas of environmental and social concern looking for aspects where clients, designers and constructors go beyond the minimum to achieve high environmental and social standards.

Speaking as he accepted the award at the annual Institution of Civil Engineers’ Prestige Lecture in Edinburgh, FRC Project Manager Lawrence Shackman said:

“This is a truly substantial achievement and demonstrates our commitment to going the extra distance in mitigating the environmental and social impact of the FRC project.

“Achieving high quality design across all aspects of the project, from the mitigation works to the roads and the bridge itself, has been a priority for us since the very start of the project. I am delighted to receive this award from CEEQUAL in recognition of this commitment.

“We are committed to ensuring these high standards of design and sustainability are maintained through the construction of the project to its eventual opening in 2016.”

Forth Replacement Crossing stats

  • Total estimated cost: £1.7 billion to £2.3 billion at 2016 prices
  • the FRC project will see a new, 1.7 mile (2.7km) double span bridge constructed upstream of the existing Forth Road Bridge
  • deliver 2.5 miles (4km) of new, motorway quality roads connecting it to the existing road network
  • upgrade existing roads and interchanges at M9 Junction 1a and the M90 at Ferrytoll
  • provide a 13.7 mile (22km) Intelligent Transport System (ITS) designed to manage traffic across the Forth