$18M project: Livingstone council axe Statue Bay contractor
LIVINGSTONE Shire Council's dramatic intervention on the prolonged Scenic Highway Reconstruction project at Statue Bay has raised questions from the community.
Residents contacted The Morning Bulletin noticing that there hadn't been any construction work for the past week on the project, estimated to cost up to $18m.
On Wednesday, Livingstone Shire Council released a statement saying they had taken over the completion of the remaining construction works for the Statue Bay reconstruction.
"This decision has been made to ensure that the works are completed as expeditiously as possible so that local residents may again have access to the Scenic Highway,” the statement read.
"It is Council's intention to directly engage as many local contractors and suppliers as possible to complete the remaining works.”
The statement raised several questions regarding the fate of the Statue Bay reconstruction project, which a LSC spokesperson sought to answer.
"Construction works commenced in late 2016 and were to be completed by December 31, 2017,” the spokesperson said.
"We are aiming to have the remaining construction works substantially completed by June 30, 2018.”
They explained some of the reasons why the project had taken so long.
"Complexity of the design, foundation conditions and weather conditions have all contributed to the delay in completing the project,” the spokesperson said.
"Approximately 30 per cent of the revetment wall and 40 per cent of the up-slope works remain to be completed and once those works have finished, the roadworks can then be undertaken.”
The council "shared the community's frustration” regarding the delay in the works being completed, and has taken over the contracts from the head contractor, EarthTEC Pty Ltd, to complete the remaining construction works for the up-slope and down-slope as expeditiously as possible.
"The immediate priority is to engage with various subcontractors and suppliers who were engaged by the head contractor with a view to recommencing work as soon as possible,” they said.
"We are also looking to engage as many local people who were employed by the head contractor or subcontractors as possible and are planning for the works to resume next week.
"Council will not be going back to the market for another head contractor as this would only further delay the completion of the works.”
They said there may be discrete packages of work that they would seek quotes from local companies to undertake with those details known once arrangements with existing subcontractors and suppliers were finalised.
Livingstone Shire Council was looking at needing approximately 20 local suppliers and subcontractors to complete the work.
"There are 20 to 25 people who will be involved in the job at any given point in time (regardless of whether engaged directly or through subcontractors),” they said.
"The total potential value of the remaining construction works is approximately $6m (including materials).
"Council will be advising people directly and others will be engaged through wet hire of equipment.”
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga backed LSC's decision to take over the project saying, "I know that Council didn't make this decision lightly”.
EarthTEC were approached for comment.