Balfour set to win Cambridge busway extension

Grant Prior 8 years ago
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Balfour Beatty is being lined-up to build an extension to Cambridge’s guided busway network which has been dogged with construction problems.

The original project was built by Bam Nuttall and resulted in the contractor paying Cambridgeshire County Council £33m in an out-of-court settlement following a dispute over cost overruns.

The council now wants to extend the route to a planned new rail station at Cambridge Science Park which is set to open in 2016.

Balfour is being lined-up as contractor for the extension.

Balfour is a framework contractor with the council and has impressed officials with its work on a similar busway scheme in Manchester.

The extension will be built using different construction techniques following problems on the original scheme.

A council report said: “One of our framework contractors is also the main contractor for the Leigh-Salford Guided Busway, which is currently under construction.

“Discussions are taking place regarding using the same construction technique that has been developed for the Leigh-Salford Busway.

“This form of construction is different from that used for the existing Busway, and involves pouring and shaping the concrete on site using specially developed equipment rather than installing pre-cast beams as used on the existing Busway.”

The report said slipforming has the potential to offer “significant cost and programme savings compared to pre-casting, and based on preliminary work should be broadly comparable in price to conventional road construction.”

It added: “Construction of this section as a guideway is therefore dependent on agreeing an acceptable price and programme with the contractor.

“Should this not prove possible then it is proposed to substitute a conventional road construction with access controlled by short lengths of guided busway at the entry and exit points.”

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