CHORD works delayed – but still within budget

The CHORD works in Helensburgh are behind schedule but within budget, a council report has stated.

The £6.6m project has been dogged by controversy since work started in May last year, with delays blamed on poor ground conditions and design changes.

But the south side of Colquhoun Square is nearly complete, and the north side of the square is expected to finished by mid to late July.

Contractors Maclays forecast that work on the West Bay Esplanade will also be complete by the end of this month or early July.

Council officials and the contractors are currently reviewing the schedule for the next phases of the project – Colquhoun Street North, East Princes Street and Sinclair Street.

The schedule is revealed in background papers for Tuesday’s meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee.

But a risk register for the project and a highlight report will again be considered in private, with the authority saying expenditure and contract negotiations will be involved.

A programme of summer events designed to help rekindle trade in the town, badly hit by prolonged roadworks due to the CHORD project, is due to start on July 12 – last month the council agreed to provide nearly £18,000 of funding for these events; alternative venues are planned in case the Square work is not complete.

A report by Pippa Milne, the council’s executive director development and infrastructure services, says: “There are essentially some risks in delivering this type of project; Governance, under performance of contractor and design team and underground site conditions, uncharted services, levels of hard rock encountered etc.

“These are being monitored and discussed with the relevant parties to mitigate these risks.”

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