Tralee bypass to cost double

The final cost of a new bypass road in Kerry will be more than double its original contract price.

The contract for the Tralee bypass — which opened last year — was for €30m but claims for an additional €46m have been lodged by the contractors, civil engineering firm BAM.

Arbitration is continuing between the council and the company in an effort to resolve the issue.

It’s the second dispute in recent years between the Irish company, a subsidiary of Dutch-based Royal Bam, and Kerry Co Council.

Formerly known as Ascon, the company is also seeking additional funding for a road development in Castleisland.

The details emerged this week, at a county council meeting, as members were advised about a report of the local government auditor on the council’s accounts for the year ending December 2013.

The additional €46m, excluding VAT, covers a number of works including a railway bridge, site investigations, drainage and other issues, according to the auditor’s report.

Prior to completing the Tralee project, BAM had been awarded the contract for the Castleisland bypass at an initial cost of €14m but made a claim for an extra €9.18m —which the council also disputed.

Although the Castleisland bypass opened in 2010, the dispute has not been settled.

Council chairman John Brassil, said he could not understand how new contracts were awarded to firms in dispute with the council about payment claims for previous projects.

However, council management pointed out disputes with companies cannot be used in a prejudicial way when such companies tender for new contracts.


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