A spokesman for Monaghan County Council confirmed to the Irish Examiner yesterday that GAMA is one of four or five companies that have tendered for the Castleblaney bypass project, a new 16 kilometre road, which will cost an estimated E50 million.
The evaluation of the tender applications is expected to conclude within a week, the spokesman said.
Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, who first raised the matter in the Dáil last Friday, yesterday responded to the development by expressing strong reservations that GAMA was in the running for a new tender, notwithstanding all the revelations about underpayment and treatment of workers that have emerged since February.
“Given what we have learned about GAMA over the past number of months, I think that many people will be surprised to find that the company is even being considered for such a contract.
“Before any decision is made in regard to this contact all the tendering firms should be required to give cast-iron guarantees that there will be full compliance with the law of the land and that all registered agreements on pay and conditions will be properly policed and enforced,” he said.
The stretch of the N2 that runs through the town of Castleblaney has become a traffic bottleneck in recent years. The county council yesterday said the road was the busiest in the county.
The new 16km road will be a ‘two-plus-one’ highway, with two lanes on one side and a single lane on the other. The lane configurations will alternate to allow easy overtaking.
The council spokesman yesterday said price was not the only factor that would be taken into consideration and that every aspect of all the applications would be thoroughly assessed.
He said all applications would be verified by an independent quantity surveying firm as well as an assessment by the National Roads Authority after an order from the county manager.