Galliford Try started work on a £9m contract in autumn 2017 with completion expected by February 2019.
The A52 Wyvern Transport Improvements scheme in Derby involves widening a stretch of the A52 Brian Clough Way and adjacent Wyvern Way, serving a retail park. Other elements include a new pedestrian footbridge and junction signals.
However, it soon emerged that the job is not as straightforward as first thought. The city council has had to double the overall budget from £15m to £33m and has launched an investigation.
Derby City Council chief executive Carole Mills explained: “In May this year, issues were identified with the scheme. This included differences between the budgeted costs and the emerging estimated committed costs, which resulted in potential delays in delivering the scheme.
“At the time, the new administration said that the council would review the serious issues with the project, with a view to presenting a more accurate revised figure and timescale to cabinet in September. This review has made clear that the difficulties with the project are more complex than originally envisaged and, to move the scheme forward and ensure that works continue in a timely manner, it is necessary to increase the operational approved budget to £33m. We are working hard to produce a final scheme cost estimate by late autumn.
“An investigation is being carried out by the Council’s independent audit service. The results of this will be reported to cabinet once it is complete.”
When the issues were first raised in May, the new design team had a full level survey of the site carried out. This survey identified complexities, particularly in relation to the Derwent Parade Junction, the realignment of the Wyvern slip road and pedestrian footbridge access.
As part of the updated scheme design, different options will be considered to change elements of the design to mitigate scheme cost increases, the council said.
As to when the roadworks might be complete, the council could say only: “We acknowledge that given the serious issues with this project, there will inevitably be an impact on delivery time. Currently we cannot put a definitive date for completion. This will be available when the final scheme costs are completed. An update later this autumn will include a more accurate forecast on timescales.”