THURROCK Council has finally put a figure on the overspend for its A13 road widening project.
Thurrock Nubs News reported in December last year that experts within the council were forecasting the project, originally estimated to cost £79 million, would overrun by £30 million.
Originally the council refused to comment on the matter officially and requests by senior councillors from opposition groups – as well as the wider media – remained unanswered.
Today (Monday, 11 May), in a release stating how important the scheme is to the borough’s economy, the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, Cllr Mark Coxshall, has finally put a figure to the latest estimated cost – it has leapt to between £115 and £120 million, at worst an increase of more than 50 per cent on the projected spend.
Thurrock Council’s press release is as follows.
Thurrock Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Mark Coxshall, reconfirms the vital economic importance of the A13 road widening scheme.
The A13 corridor is a vital part of the region’s transport network and the road widening project continues to be rated as providing high value for money with final costs estimated to be £115 to £120 million.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “As the country begins a phased return to get back to work, the A13 road widening scheme is more important than ever. It is a key development for the entire South Essex region and will help to provide jobs and new opportunities for Thurrock’s residents, businesses and employers. These significant benefits are crucial as our government begins to sketch out the roadmap to ease lockdown measures and reopen society.
“The council and its partners will continue to work hard to make sure construction carries on throughout the coronavirus pandemic, whilst protecting the workforce and the public to ensure this scheme is delivered as quickly as possible to support the recovery of Thurrock and indeed every council along the A13.”
The A13 is already operating with approximately 77,000 vehicles usually using this section of road on a daily basis. Not acting is not an option. Works will reduce congestion, improve journey times and support further economic growth in the area.
The project faced some significant challenges only apparent once construction commenced with a combination of factors including drainage, structures and utilities diversions but the council and its contractors have worked collaboratively to find effective solutions to these issues and it is now forging ahead.