Unexpected ground conditions have added £3m and five months to the programme for a new road from M55 J1 around the village of Broughton to the A6 in Lancashire, opening up development sites with potential for 1,400 new homes.
The original timetable for the project had completion scheduled for March 2017. However, complications have affected work on the construction of the Brooklands Bridge, over Blundel Brook, at the southern end of the scheme. The completion date has been reset as August 2017.
The increased cost of constructing the bridge and other unexpected costs has increased the overall original cost of the £24m scheme by up to £3m. Managers of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal have agreed to fund the extra cost.
Eddie Sutton, director of development and corporate services, said: “Exploratory work was carried out as part of the design and planning process, but you can only properly know what is needed once you start work on the ground.
“Once work started on site, a more comprehensive ground survey revealed that the ground conditions were more challenging than had been indicated by the initial survey. We then needed specialist equipment to fully investigate the situation and understand the changes that would need to be made to the design.
“We came up with a different bridge foundation design which would have enabled us to complete on time and on budget, however the Environment Agency asked us to go back to a version of the original design.
“This has meant that we have to build a bridge with significantly deeper foundations, taking longer than scheduled and increasing the overall cost.
“We’d like to thank people for their patience while this work takes place. I acknowledge that this delay will mean a longer period of disruption but I hope people will see that there is a long-term benefit in getting this right. The work is progressing well in general and we’re working hard to get everything finished by next summer.”
On site, work is now taking place on the Helms Farms underpass. The main contractor is Hochtief.
Drainage work and earthwork will start shortly on the east side of the A6, north of the village, to divert the traffic while the roundabout is constructed.
On the A6, the last of the utility diversions are being completed. Utility work is also continuing well on Whittingham Lane.
At the southern end of the route, towards the M55 junction, work is continuing on the new car park for the church and the school, including work to improve the drainage. Work continues on the foundations for the new bridge.
The original site offices at D’Urton Lane are no longer in use and have now been demolished, which is part of the work to change the road layout near the M55 junction.
The bypass is funded by the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, which will help to create more than 20,000 new private sector jobs and see over 17,000 new homes built across the area, along with new school places, open green spaces and new health provision to cater for the growing population.