Scheme to save coastal road set to be approved

Sandsend parking''w133313
Sandsend parking''w133313

A MULTI-MIllion pound scheme to stop the Sandsend coastal road sliding into the sea is set to be given the go-ahead next week.

The project will see work to restore and improve protection for the A174 and also measures to prevent it being hit by landslips from above.

Members of North Yorkshire County Council are recommended to press ahead with the scheme despite just one contractor submitting a bid.

The £10 million cost will be split between the County Council, the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency.

A report being put to the council on Tuesday says the scheme is “essential” for the long term future of the road.

Major works on the stretch were last carried out in the 1960s but the authority has had to carry out “urgent works” over the last two winters to repair collapses in the concrete protecting the road from the sea and to clear two landslips on the slope above the road.

One of the repairs was so extensive the road had to be closed and temporary traffic signals were necessary.

A recent study said “ the sloping concrete sea defences protecting and supporting the highway are approaching the end of their asset life,”.

When the project was first advertised the authority received 62 responses from interested bidders. Tender documents were subsequently sent out to five contractors but three said they were too busy to carry out the work and a fourth said it would not be bidding because of the “level of risk” associated with the project.

Despite the fact only one bid was submitted councillors are advised to go ahead as the process “has been carried out in accordance with procurement guidelines and the successful tender price is within the budget that has been allocated to the project.”

Councillors are also warned Defra cash will only be released if a contract is awarded in the current financial year and the County Council would be liable for any cost overruns.

The project includes a contingency fund of up to £630,000.

Planning permission for the work was granted in September 2013.

As part of the scheme, new pay and display parking spaces will be created on the land side of the road. The profile of the coastal wall will be changed to make it better able to resist the impact of waves.

Construction work on land above the road includes new drainage to ensure it provides “a stable slop under all conditions”.