Remedial work to start on St Ives-Cambridge busway

WORK on correcting the Guided Busway ‘defects’ will begin on Monday (May 23).

Cambridgeshire County Council has appointed Jackson Civil Engineering to correct a number of areas of the much-delayed and heavily over-budget project (estimates place the overall cost at about �180million against a budget of �116.7m).

BAM Nuttall, which constructed the guideway between St Ives and Cambridge, had 28 days to address the defects, but this time has expired and the council is now allowed to carry out remedial work.

One of the areas where CCC believes work is needed is the bridge over the River Great Ouse. This will be closed and fenced off from Monday as work begins to stop water leaking through the bridge on to the steel beneath.

CCC says engineers have said the work is needed to stop excessive ongoing maintenance and to make sure the lifespan of the bridge is not reduced.

Busway officials have also ordered workers to move in to adjust the St Ives Park and Ride car park as there is currently not enough gradient on the car park causing rain water to form puddles. Contractors will also begin adjusting the gaps between the beams that make up the guideway to make sure the concrete beams can expand fully during periods of hot weather without damage.

CCC added that the cost of correcting the defects will be charged to BAM Nuttall as “they did not correct the defects they were independently notified of during the construction”.

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Residents are being reminded that the entire busway route, including the cycleway next to the track, is a construction site and is closed to the public.

Councillor Ian Bates, who responsibility includes the busway, said: “Our new contractors have been briefed and like us they are raring to get started now the 28 days permitted to fix the defects has elapsed. We have been working with Jackson Civil Engineering over recent weeks to make sure they could get going quickly and it is our job to make sure the works continue to be driven forward so the route can open as soon as possible.

“Everyone is keen to announce an opening date and once all the work is underway we will track progress so we can people know as soon as we can.

“While machinery is working up and down the route I would appeal to residents to be sensible and not to venture on to the construction site until all the works are complete.”