By Local Democracy Reporter
EXTRA money is needed to finish the widening of the A13 following a series of errors that have caused the project to go over-budget, council documents have revealed.
An update on work taking place between Stanford-le-Hope and the Orsett Cock roundabout details how the scheme has been plagued with problems ranging from public safety issues linked to bridge designs to inaccurate land studies that needed to be repeated.
The designs for the project were also not complete when the road works begun leaving contractors to do the work while the plans were still being drawn up.
New council documents said the project is “no longer within the budget envelope” and the council needs to find “alternative funding through whatever route is available”.
This could include appealing for additional grant funding from the government, trying to get extra funding from the private sector or taking more money from the council’s budget.
How significantly the council has overspent has not been confirmed but the original funding allocated to the project was £79million.
The scheme will also not meet its original deadline of Autumn 2020, instead the council has said the date is “under review”.
It is not the first time the council has admitted to facing problems with the scheme. Last year, Councillor Ben Maney, who oversees transport, admitted the cost of the project had “spiralled” and an investigation had been launched to find out what happened.
Mr Maney said during an October council meeting: “There were always things that we couldn’t plan for and I know some of the utilities running under the road have been an issue.
“That is not an excuse, you expect those kinds of things to pop up with this kind of project.”
The council documents also reveal there has been problems with the improvement work at the Stanford-le-Hope railway station.
Despite work having started in March 2019, a report explains the designs were too expensive and a review had to take place to “identify alternative design and construction options”.
New designs have now been drawn up to ensure the scheme can be completed within budget. The aim is to complete the project by August 2021 – more than a year later than originally planned.