Griffiths scoops ECI deal on £38m bypass

North Somerset Council has awarded Alun Griffiths an early contractor involvement (ECI) contract for the Banwell Bypass and local highway improvements, which could be worth £38m.

Banwell is a village just west of the M5 near Weston-super-Mare. According to council documents, the Stage 1 professional services contract is valued at £2.8m, while the total value of the contract is £37.7m.

The project is to be carried out in two stages, using a bespoke ECI approach. Stage 1 includes preliminary design and ancillary services, with stage 2 comprising detailed design and construction.

The contract award notice states that the contractor will only be appointed to undertake stage 2 if instructed by the council, which will issue a ‘Confirmation of Notice to Proceed’ at the appropriate time.

Council papers note that: ‘If an agreement cannot be made on the Stage 2 Target Cost, NSC has the option to walk away with the preliminary design and procure another contractor to complete Stage 2.’

The works comprise ‘key enabling infrastructure’, namely:

  • The Banwell bypass including flood mitigation works;
  • Local transport improvements including supporting active and sustainable travel and public realm/traffic management within Banwell village;
  • improvements to Junction 21 of the M5;
  • strategic capacity improvements to the utility network.

The work is to be funded by a £97m Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) grant awarded to the council by the communities department MHCLG, which will also fund a school in the area.

Only two of five bidders invited to tender for the work submitted responses but the authority decided not to retender.

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