Edinburgh City Council has started the hunt for two contractors to deliver its tram extension project from York Place to Newhaven.

The council is taking a cautious approach to tendering after major cost overruns on the earlier city centre phases.

The project is being divided into two separate lots. The first Swept Path package worth around £25m will cover utility diversions to clear the route for main track and civils works.

This £90m main works components will include 4.6km of embedded, slab and ballast track, eight new tram stops, two substations, bridge works and demolition of the York Place tram stop.

Procurement chiefs at the council will want bids to include the council’s nominated subcontractor for tram communication and control systems.

They are also likely to use project bank accounts on the project, but have yet to confirm the decision. Tenders will be released to four shortlisted bidders in February 2018.

Under present two-stage bidding plans councillors will not make a final decision on taking the tram to Newhaven until autumn 2018.

This 12-month tendering period will allow the council to assess project affordability and consider any lessons learned from the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry currently under way into major cost overruns on the earlier phases.

Construction work is expected to take three years, including 18 months on Leith Walk, followed by four months of testing and commissioning on the new line.

Source: Construction Enquirer

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