December 14, 2018

NHAI repeals tender

Elevtated Road project has been cancelled
By UdaipurTimes Team on December 14, 2018


National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has repealed the tender that was floated for the elevatted road in Udaipur – from Court Chauraha to Udaipol.

In 2016, the Rs 136 Crore project was approved by the State Government and NHAI was asked to execute the project  by means of its regular tendering process, and NHAI had processed the tender.

However, a public interest litigation , followed by appointment of consultants by the NHAI to look into the project feasibility even after the State Government had given approval, subsequent intervention by the court recently and finally questioning on the feasibility reports by the CRRI to NHAI, resulted in the NHAI cancelling the tender and the project.  There will no longer be an elevated road in the congested areas of the city.

Hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Rajasthan High Court had put an interim stop on proposed elevated road in Udaipur. The High Court has issued a notice to National Highway Authority of India, Collector of Udaipur and others in this regard.


Two member bench of Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court, Pradeep Nandrjog along with Justice Vineet Mathur head the PIL and issued a notice to NHAI, PWD, Udaipur Collector and others seeking a response till 30-July 2018.

The High Court had directed the CRRI to review the project and CRRI had asked NHAI to submit the report, following which NHAI cancelled the entire project and the tender that was issued.

This was the proposed project and the problems accompanying it:

Elevated road planned to be constructed from Udiapol to Court Chauraha (Elevated Road length: 1.65 km; Cost: Rs 126-130 Crore)
Project to have been executed in time and completed by 2021
On completion, the traffic situation in the heart of Udaipur would have eased considerably.  Vehicles needing to move from near Hiran Magri/Udiapol would go use the elevated road.  Only vehicles needing to come into the Delhi gate Surajpol, and such internal areas will need to use the existing roads.  This would ease traffic considerably.

DPR of the consulting agencies for the elevated road raised plenty of technical faults with the plan and said that the project was unfeasible.
A report submitted by the NHAI also confirmed that the project was unfeasible.
Project feasibility mentioned that road was not as per Road Congress standards…viz.

Buses, trucks and HTVs will not be allowed to use the elevated road.
Udiapole road is around 90 feet now; out of this 50 feet will be taken in for constructing the fly-over. A service road will be made underneath which will be used by buses and HTVs. The service road will be of 41 feet in this case. Because of this only 20 feet road on each side will be free which is very likely to create traffic jams.

Speed limit for vehicles has been determined at 40 km/hr whereas as per IRC it should be at least 60 km/hr. Hence speed limit is not as per standard rules.
There is no provision of footpath on the elevated road. Any pedestrian on this road is sure to face risk while on the road.

The Public Interest Litigation was filed by Om Prakash Khatri, JS Dave and Udaipur Citizen Society and others. Representing the applicants, Senior advocate M S Singhvi, Sanjay Mathur and Akhilesh Rajpurohit said that regulations and provisions related to road crossing have been overlooked in the proposed flyover at Udiapole and the elevated road. They also alleged that the design of the proposed flyover has technical faults and raises severe issues related to public security.

Finally, the High Court has also, in its order said that the elevated road project, if it ever comes up in future, will take into cognizance the current decision by High Court and NHAI and will seek approval from the High Court before proceeding.

Source- Udaipur Times

December 6, 2018

Swedish Accident Spot to be covered

NCC to sort out 6km Swedish accident blackspot

 1 day NCC is to rebuild a dangerous road in Sweden under a contract worth nearly SEK455m (£40m).

It has signed a comprehensive agreement with the Swedish Transport Administration to build a new road along a 6km stretch of European route E14 between Timmervägen and Blåberget outside Sundsvall. NCC’s assignment includes construction of a new four-lane expressway, intersections and five bridges as well as the reconstruction of the current route.
The existing road is a blackspot for accidents, and the purpose of the project is to improve accessibility and traffic safety for both motorists and unprotected road users along the route.
The construction project will be planned to ensure a safe work environment while minimising disruptions to motorists, through initiatives including construction of temporary bypasses.
Construction work will start in early 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

December 3, 2018

Railway Bridge Replacement

Three Halifax railway bridges to be replaced


Vehicles pass over the railway bridge on a road in Halifax on Friday morning. CN is proposing to put a temporary bridge in place while the current bridge is repaired. (RYAN TAPLIN/ STAFF)
Vehicles pass over the railway bridge on a road in Halifax on Friday morning. CN is proposing to put a temporary bridge in place while the current bridge is repaired. (RYAN TAPLIN/ STAFF)
Traffic movement through a significant portion of peninsular Halifax will be affected next year when Canadian National Railway Co. begins work to replace three dilapidated railway bridges in the city’s south end.
CN fought the city over who was responsible for maintaining seven railway bridges in the south end and therefore responsible for their replacement, but the matter has been settled after a protracted legal fight with the railway given responsibility for replacing the structure and the regional municipality obligated to pay for road and utility repairs.
Halifax Water is seeking an additional $1.4 million for the Quinpool Road CN Rail utility bridge.
Previous funding of $697,000 for the road bridge’s water and wastewater infrastructure replacement was approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board as part of the 2018-19 capital budget.
“At the time of budget preparations, it was assumed that the new water and wastewater piping would be installed in a similar methodology as existing conditions,” wrote Carl Yates, general manager of Halifax Water, in a funding request to the utility board on Thursday.
The current water and sewer infrastructure, installed in 1916, are in the concrete arch.
“Unfortunately, the thickness of the new concrete arch prevents the installation of new utility lines because the road base is too shallow to accommodate new mains,” said the general manager.
Hatch, an international engineering company with an office in Halifax, is CN’s bridge design consultant. It has recommended a separate utility bridge be constructed next to the existing road bridge to avoid the expense and risk of having to temporarily pump or convey wastewater around the construction site.
The consulting company’s revised cost estimate was $743,948, excluding HST, said Yates.
In order to make the scheduled start date of April 2019, the project was broken into two tenders, said Halifax Water’s general manager.
The tender for supply of the utility bridge was awarded to Algonquin Bridge for $195,438, excluding HST.
Construction of the utility bridge, which will span the rail-cut on the north side of the existing bridge, is to be carried out this winter, said Yates.
A second tender, for installation of the bridge and relocated services, closed on Nov. 15 with submissions from Atlantic Road Construction and Paving Ltd., Dexter Construction and Brycon Construction for $1.48 million, $1.484 million and $1.815 million, respectively. The tender will be awarded based on funding approval from the utility board.
Coun. Shawn Cleary, who represents the area that includes the Quinpool Road bridge, said replacing the bridges is a safety issue and is at the point “where it’s got to be done.”
“One of the first questions I had when I got elected was, ‘Why are those there, why do we need to protect pedestrians?’” recalled the district councillor about the jersey barriers around the bridge in a phone interview.
“I remember the look on our transportation directors’ faces, they said: ‘Councillor, they’re not there to protect pedestrians, they’re there to protect the bridge.’ Because if someone hits them, I mean those railings will just collapse and they’ll go down,” Cleary said.
“Thankfully, we don’t have to pay for the bridge itself,” said the councillor.
“The municipality’s capital budget has allocated $845,000 for the bridge rehabilitation on Quinpool Road,” states the HRM website.
The Quinpool Road bridge is one of three CN-owned bridges to be rehabilitated in 2019.
Belmont-on-the-Arm and Marlborough Wood arch bridges are also to undergo repairs next year, with funding from the municipality yet to be determined.
The three structures are predicted to cost the municipality $1.8 million, based on preliminary estimates provided by engineers, states the website.
CN did not respond to request for comment.

December 1, 2018

Procurement Model - Progressive or Blocking


SHINOVENE IMMANUEL and TJIPENANDJAMBI KUHANGA
THE Central Procurement Board has told the Roads Authority to re-advertise two highway road tenders worth N$1,4 billion.
However, the Roads Authority, a parastatal tasked with constructing and managing national roads, believes that the procurement process will delay the projects for more years.

The highways in question include the Windhoek to Okahandja road which would be extended by 21 kilometres for N$1 billion while the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road will be extended by eight kilometres for N$435 million.

A person familiar with this matter said the Central Procurement Board informed the Roads Authority about its decision last month.

The Namibian understands that the tender agency initially told the roads parastatal to also re-advertise the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport tender, but that decision is still being discussed.

The decision by the Central Procurement Board comes after Roads Authority chief executive Conrad Lutombi wrote to the transport ministry on 2 February 2018, recommending that the three companies which are currently constructing the highways should be given extensions to work on the next kilometres, which would rule out advertising the tenders.

The Roads Authority has in the past warned that these projects would be delayed and it will cost the government more money if the contracts are re-advertised. The Roads Authority believes that it will be cheaper to continue with the current contractors and save up to N$251 million.

The parastatal is of the opinion that re-advertising the Windhoek to Okahandja road, scheduled for completion by next year as part of the 'Harambee road projects' goals, will delay the project.

Sources said officials at the Roads Authority believe that the Central Procurement Board does not have the powers to award these road contracts because they were awarded by the previous tender regime, which gave parastatals powers to hand out tenders.

The Namibian understands that the Central Procurement Board approached attorney general Albert Kawana earlier this year to obtain a legal opinion on whether the tender agency has powers to award or extend contracts issued by the previous procurement regime.

Kawana declined to comment yesterday while chairperson of the Central Procurement Board Patrick Swartz did not answer a question sent to him on Tuesday.

In the meantime, uncertainty faces the completion of the Windhoek to Okahandja two-way road.

The initial plan was to construct the Windhoek to Okahandja road concurrently in the final phase of the project, but the tender has been delayed for more than two years.

“There is no way we can complete the Okahandja road by next year as promised in the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” a person familiar with the project told The Namibian this week.

Roads Authority spokesperson Hileni Fillemon said the construction of the Windhoek to Okahandja section 4A road is progressing. The current phase consists of the 27km road from Döbra River to the Omakunde interchange.

“Progress on this project is at 78%. Five bridges have been fully completed, and works are progressing well on the bridges/interchanges that we are currently busy with,” she said.

The section is set to be completed by September 2019, she added.

The section 4B, which is 21km, covers the road from the Osona military base to the Otjiwarongo junction – behind Okahandja on the southern side, and it will be turned into a highway.

“The design for this section has been completed, and the Roads Authority is currently engaging the government to secure funds for this section,” Fillemon continued.

The spokesperson said phase one of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road, which stretches from Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue to Sam Nujoma Drive, is 60% completed.

BUDGET CUT

The finance ministry and the transport ministry have over the years clashed over the roads tender. The finance ministry bluntly blamed the transport ministry for committing the government to road contracts worth more than N$2 billion without consulting treasury. Deputy transport minister Sankwasa James Sankwasa said in a letter earlier this year that the roads contracts were riddled with corruption.

There is evidence that the finance ministry reduced the initial budget for the three highway projects.

Documents provided by the transport ministry show that the finance ministry chopped the budget for the three roads projects by N$292 million when the national budget was revised last month.

The Windhoek to Okahandja road, which had an initial budget of N$241 million, was reduced by N$90 million, leaving the project with N$151 million to construct the ongoing road project.

The Windhoek to Hosea Kutako road project was reduced by N$102 million and left with N$47 million. This road is set to be funded by the African Development Bank and a Chinese grant.

The Swakopmund to Walvis Bay two-way road, which had a N$149 million budget, was cut to N$47 million, reducing the project amount by N$102 million.

These project cuts were part of the massive cuts faced by the transport ministry last month.
The ministry's entire budget for this year was reduced by N$700 million from N$2,2 billion to N$1,5 billion.

Director in the works department at the Ministry of Works and Transport, Anneline Black told The Namibian two weeks ago that the finance ministry did not consult them when it chopped the budget of 29 out of 44 projects at the cost of N$700 million.

“The Ministry of Finance did not consult the line ministries on the budget cuts of the development budget,” Black said.The finance ministry did not respond to questions about the lack of consultations.
The ministry of works indicated that the upgrading of the railway network was also cut by N$103 million from an initial budget of N$371 million.
The transport ministry is also faced with a poor implementation record.

Black, who was acting as permanent secretary of the transport ministry, said 21 out of 44 projects were not implemented for this financial year due to the lack of money.

The ministry did not respond to questions about the projects budgeted for but not implemented.
Black, however, said the ministry is still making some progress, despite the budget cuts.

“After having looked at all the affected projects, I can in all honesty not see how these project cuts will not negatively impact these projects at all,” she added.

Source - The Namibian