John Sisk/Roadbridge JV wins M9 job with tender £20m below budget

Contractor Sisk has won the job to upgrade a motorway junction on the M9 with a £25m bid of just over half the budgeted cost of the scheme.

The joint venture between John Sisk and Roadbridge won the commission, which is to prepare the motorway for extra traffic ahead of the construction of the Forth Bridge replacement crossing, with a bid of £25.6m – despite the fact client Transport Scotland had originally budgeted between £45-65m for the work.

The award shows the extent of reductions in prices achieved in the current tough economic climate, and is bound to lead to further concerns around the sustainability of low bidding for work.

The main £790m Forth Bridge contract, awarded to a consortium of Dragados, Hochtief, American Bridge International and Morrison Construction, was 12% under the previous lowest estimated cost and rumoured to be more than £100m cheaper than rival bids.

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said: “Today’s announcement that the preferred bid for the M9 Junction 1a contract is substantially under budget demonstrates further significant savings for the public purse.

“While it is clear that the current construction market is highly competitive, this is also testament to Transport Scotland’s robust procurement and project management.”

Transport Scotland said the Junction 1A contract will create 125 jobs, with 3,000 created by the whole Forth Replacement Crossing project.