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13 September 2010

Bidders to be invited for major element of Forth Replacement Crossing project

Four tenderers, comprising seven major construction firms, are set to compete for the contract to upgrade M9 Junction 1a - a vital element of the Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) scheme.

They comprise Morrison Construction and joint ventures from Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindall; John Sisk & Son Ltd and Roadbridge; and Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd and Costain Ltd.

Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson, said:

“It’s imperative that this Government continues to invest in our transport infrastructure right across the country to help support economic growth and accelerate recovery. Both the M9 Junction 1a and the Fife ITS contracts, formally announced to the marketplace in July, are elements of the economically vital FRC scheme but also significant contracts in their own right and demonstrate the Scottish Government’s determination to create as many opportunities for the construction sector as possible.”

The contract is anticipated to be worth between £46 million - £65 million and will improve connectivity and functionality between the M9 and the new FRC, by widening the M9 at key locations, improving existing slip roads and providing new west facing slip roads.

The works also include provision of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) that will help regulate the flow of traffic approaching the FRC and Newbridge Junction, forming part of a 22 km ITS corridor that extends from M9 Junction 1a to the M90 Halbeath Junction. This ITS will include overhead signal gantries along this corridor providing lane control, variable mandatory speed control and traffic information to drivers via variable message signs (VMS).

Mr Stevenson added:

"This represents another significant milestone in the procurement of the Forth Replacement Crossing and demonstrates that, subject to the approval of the Forth Crossing Bill by the Scottish Parliament, the project remains on schedule for delivery on time and within budget by 2016.

“It is very pleasing to see the enthusiasm demonstrated by the construction industry in bidding for the FRC principal contract has also extended to the M9 Junction 1a work, delivering a field of high-quality, experienced candidates.

“This level of competition will continue to help us ensure the Forth Replacement Crossing represents the best value-for-money for the public purse.”

Transport Scotland received six prequalification submissions following the publication of the Contract Notice on 8 June 2010. The top four submissions were determined following an assessment of each applicant’s financial and technical capabilities.

It is intended that these four will enter into competitive dialogue with Transport Scotland in November to discuss their proposals, before submitting a final tender in Spring 2011. It is anticipated the award of the M9 Junction 1a contract will then be made in July 2011 with construction expected to begin soon after.
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