The transformation of Swansea’s Kingsway is expected to be back on track soon.
Swansea Council is hoping to complete a deal with Welsh civil engineering contractor Griffiths that will enable work to re-start on the £12m transformation of the key city centre thoroughfare shortly.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “It’s great news that we’ve been able to find a way through and get work back on track so quickly after main contractor Dawnus called in the administrators.
“We’re anticipating all the legal approvals, financial and technical issues can be resolved very soon, enabling Griffiths to get on and complete the Kingsway project we’ve all been looking forward to.
“This transformational scheme will make The Kingsway more people-friendly and better than ever for road users – it’s a vital step in our on-going plans to regenerate the city and local economy. We will ensure the scheme is delivered.”
The council stepped in when it became clear last week that Dawnus was planning to go into administration and would not be able to complete the contract.
Cllr Stewart said: “Council teams recommenced work on site on Friday, working through the weekend and Monday to tackle defects, make the site safe and remove non-essential fencing and barriers. They will continue work on-site until the main contractor takes over.
“Griffiths was the second-placed contractor on the original tender for the Kingsway works. We’ve worked closely with them over the years to deliver a range of highways maintenance and improvement programmes as part of the Swansea Highways Partnership.
“That’s why we’re pleased they have been able to respond so rapidly and positively to the situation. Subject to all approvals being in place the council is looking forward to working with them towards completing the Kingsway scheme as soon as possible.
“Our proactive approach and collective quick response will mean that any time lost to this project will be limited.
“We will do everything we can to secure a completion in the original timeframe – but the new contractor will have to review the work and develop a works programme.
“The project will also work to the existing budget; we do not anticipate a significant difference between the original total cost and the new cost.”
Details of the final cost of completing the scheme are still being finalised. The council will incur some costs for making the site safe and engaging the Swansea Highways Partnership to make good some defects.
Contractual arrangements will be completed in compliance with EU and council contract award rules which allow for a different contractor to take over a project quickly when the previous contract-holder is unable to complete the job.
The council is on site now, the Swansea Highways Partnership is due to be on site from week commencing March 25 and work will continue until all approvals are in place for Griffiths to start on the main part of the completion contract within a matter of weeks.
Cllr Stewart said: “I want to reassure business, traders, commuters and shoppers that it is business as usual on Kingsway and in the wider city centre area.”
When completed the Kingsway will be transformed into a city park, incorporating new public areas, with much green space, street trees and enhanced pedestrian and cycling routes.
The existing two-lane one-way vehicle route will become two-way on The Kingsway and Orchard Street, with some neighbouring streets also becoming two-way.
Construction work will include the creation of new public spaces and a “pocket park” at the top of Princess Way, with around 180 trees being planted over the life of the Kingsway project.
The Kingsway Infrastructure Project includes £4.5 million of WEFO funding.