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Review of Construction Programme November 2021

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Is the project still on course to be operational by Spring 2023?

Yes, the project continues to work towards a Spring 2023 open for revenue services and remains within the £207.3m budget agreed in Spring 2023.

 

Why is the London Road – Crown Street section taking longer than previously communicated?

There is an industry wide shortage of materials, including cement, which the project has not been immune to. This, coupled with a shortage of skilled labour, has resulted in delays in certain sections but the overarching programme remains on track.

 

Why are there delays in sections but not a delay in the overall programme?

Based on lessons learned from the Airport – York Place section, along with best practice from similar European construction projects, our construction strategy requires us to take large areas for construction. By doing this we can continue work even if we experience issues.

We have also experienced some complex issues around utilities in certain sections which have led to delays. Examples of these are at Manderston Street / Leith Walk / Jane Street junctions, Bernard Street, Tower Street and McDonald Road. This has led to an extension of the programme in these specific sections

 

Why are you continuing to open new sections before existing sections are complete?

A key concept of our construction strategy is creating large construction sites – in the event that we come across a problem, we are able to continue working while that problem is resolved. By opening up new sections while we have experienced issues with materials supply and the availability of skilled labour, we have been able to progress the programme, particularly with MUS diverting utilities and remain on track for a Spring 2023 open for revenue service and deliver the project within the £207.3m budget agreed at committee.

 

What are you doing to support businesses during construction?

A support for business package, developed in consultation with businesses on the route, has been in operation since the start of construction. 

 

There have been reports of issues with materials and a scarcity of skilled labour – how has this impacted the project?

The project has not been immune to publicised shortage of materials and skilled labour in the construction sector. Various mitigation measures have been put in place and we remain on track for Spring 2023 for open for revenue service. In order to achieve this, there may be instances where certain sections take longer than was previously anticipated.

 

Why are you working from the top of Leith Walk down?

Annandale Street, McDonald Road and Pilrig Street are key routes for maintaining traffic flows in the area. Working from the top of Leith Walk down will allow these junctions to open and help keep the area moving.