County Council leader launches review of Upper Orwell Crossing costs
The leader of Suffolk County Council has launched an independent review of the costs of building the Upper Orwell Crossings in Ipswich.
The major bridge project, which is still in its planning stages, was originally calculated to cost £97 million, with around three quarters of the funding coming from the Government and remaining money coming from Suffolk taxpayers.
But a recent internal review of costs has forecast that the total amount needed to complete the project could increase significantly. Unless additional funding from Government can be secured, this additional money would most likely have to be found locally, either from Suffolk businesses or taxpayers.
The project will therefore be paused temporarily while the independent review is carried out by engineering specialists from Jacobs. The outcome of the review is expected in September 2018.
Councillor Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s leader, said:
“Since becoming leader, I have asked my senior team to review the major infrastructure projects Suffolk County Council is working on. The Upper Orwell Crossings is one of the biggest and most complex.
“It’s clear to me that whilst the significant project is being managed well, there is currently some uncertainty around the costs. If we’re going to proceed and build these bridges, that uncertainty needs to be addressed right now.
“We’re going to pause work temporarily, pending the outcome of this review. Then, based on sound and independent advice and considering everything we know about the project, Suffolk County Council will make a decision on the future of the Upper Orwell Crossings.”