THE contractors responsible for a second delay to the opening of the Queensferry Crossing will not have to pay any damages for the late opening of the project.
Scotland’s Sunday Post says it understands constructors have negotiated an extension as to when so-called “liquidated damages” kick in.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh West, told the newspaper, “People in my constituency and all across Scotland will be wondering what on earth is going on here as we face yet another delay.
“Big questions have to be asked about why the contractor has not built in enough contingency, why it is not paying damages and why Transport Scotland has not kept a tighter control over things.”
It says documents released under freedom of information laws show the deal for the Queensferry Crossing does have a clause which would allow Transport Scotland to claim damages if the work is not completed on time.
But it believes the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium – which includes multinational firms Dragados, Hochtief, American Bridge and Morrison Construction – has negotiated an extension to August.
Transport Scotland has refused to say how far behind the project is in key areas such as waterproofing.
A Transport Scotland spokesman is quoted as saying, “In common with the majority of large civil engineering contracts, the contract has a mechanism to change the [contractual completion] date in certain prescribed circumstances which are outside the contractor’s control.”