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Berrima Road Deviation Project - Status Update

What is the status of the Berrima Road Deviation Project and what are the next steps?

At its meeting held on 10 April 2019 Council was provided with a detailed report outlining the factors which led to the delays in delivering the Berrima Road Deviation Project.

These delays have primarily been a result of seeking the necessary design approvals for the relocation of high voltage power lines and in completing the full detailed design for the project.

At the time of the report Council has spent $2.2 million on the project, which primarily relates to detailed design and bulk earthworks which have been completed on the southern road embankment.

The report also outlined that in December 2018, revised project estimates were provided based on the full detailed design of the project. This identified an increase in the original project estimate of $9.2 million (prepared in November 2014) to $15.15 million.

Two significant factors have contributed to these project cost increases; firstly, the project scope for the relocation of the high voltage electricity services across the site has significantly altered. The original estimates from 2010 were based on a rate to place the services underground at an estimated cost of $160,000. Following development of the detailed design for the works in 2017, and in consultation with Endeavour Energy, these works are currently estimated at $1.26 million (including 30 per cent contingency), with a reinstatement of overhead high voltage power lines.

Other costs are due to escalation over the years since the funding application was submitted. Based on a construction cost escalation factor of 6 per cent, a $9.205 million project costing from 2014 would require cost escalation increases to $13.06 million, or an additional $3.85 million, for the project to be delivered during 2020.

As a result of the identified increase in project estimates and delays in project delivery; Council formally resolved to:

  • Advise the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities that due to a significant number of issues in relation to the delivery of this project, Council would not be able to complete the approved works by the 31 March 2020 deadline and would therefore have to let the funding agreement lapse.
  • Undertake the necessary works to make the project “shovel ready” for future grant applications. This will include finalising the relocation of existing services, property acquisitions and topsoil and seed the constructed road embankment with an estimated total cost $4.4 million for the revised project scope.

The next steps are to:

  • Negotiate with the relevant property owner in relation to the proposed land swap;
  • Complete the property acquisition from the relevant adjacent property owner;
  • Complete the relocations of electrical, communications and gas services;
  • Topsoil and seed the southern embankment to protect it for the future;
  • Pay remaining consultants fees;

Current expenditure for the project to date is $2.2 million. Based on current estimates additional works to make the project ‘shovel ready’ will cost approximately a further $2.2 million which would bring the total cost to $4.4 million. Council’s original budget contribution towards the project was $4.603 million.

This would leave Council with a ‘shovel ready’ project with land acquisitions complete and external impediments removed, leaving a grassed mound until the future completion of the project can be undertaken and a simpler shovel ready project is ready to deliver for future grant funding when available.

For more information visit www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/berrima-road.

Last Updated: June 5th, 2019
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