CITY CENTRE PROJECT: All Liverpool roadworks to be reviewed
VIAM, formerly known as King Construction, plunged into administration earlier this year
All contractors carrying out roadworks in Liverpool are set to be reviewed in the aftermath of the collapse of a company working on a key city centre project.
NMCN, the lead contractor on the overhaul of Lime Street, collapsed earlier this week, throwing the scheme into turmoil.
It comes weeks after another company working on a series of smaller roadworks projects collapsed earlier this year.
Those smaller projects are now in the process of being reassigned to other companies or completed, while the council announced yesterday that the Lime Street revamp plans, which were themselves controversial, are now set to be reviewed ahead of work restarting.
The council’s interim highways chief, Karen Agbabiaka, told members of the climate change and environment select committee yesterday evening that all other contractors carrying out work for the council would now be reviewed.
She said: “One thing I must say is that we are reviewing all of our contractors and all of those that we’ve outsourced to see where they are.
“I will also be reaching out to my colleagues in the industry to find out if there’s a pattern or an impact associated with a lack of drivers, lack of materials and Covid.
“We will be doing a review just to make sure that we understand whether there is a particular problem and if there is then we’ll look to find some solutions for it.”
Asked whether the council could have terminated the Lime Street contract early had it sense NMCN was about to collapse, Ms Agbabiaka, who arrived at the council earlier this year after the scheme had already started, said she had taken all steps possible to protect the council.
She said: “We can only terminate under a number of conditions. If we had terminated it we would have borne all the costs.
“There would also have been penalties on us if we terminated a contract with a contractor who was not seen to have failed so there was not a lot we could do.
“Like I said, the only thing we could do is make sure we were on top of them, ask questions and challenge them.”
Words: Nick Tyrrell, Local Democracy Reporter
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